Tag Archives: painted

Yarn paintings

Huichol yarn painting is a traditional artistic technique that is used for recording dreams, visions, myths, and the innermost personal prayers of the artists. Because the Huichol language is non-written, these story boards are used to express the beauty and wisdom of the ancient Huichol cultural tradition. Huichol artists can be thought of as modern day scribes.

The Huichols use smaller version of these paintings as offerings to the many gods and goddesses that reign over their isolated homeland in the Sierra Madre mountain range in Mexico.

Yarn paintings originate from votive objects the Huichols create as ceremonial offerings. The small wax and yarn votive objects are made as prayers to depict the desires of the people and their families. After the ceremonies they are taken to far off sacred places and left for the gods and goddesses.

The larger paintings, made by Huichol artists for sale, utilize the same technique for placing strands of yarn onto a thin surface of beeswax mixed with pine resin that has been spread onto a wooden board. It is a meticulous and time consuming art form that may be a successor to the featherworking techniques of the Huichol ancestors, the Aztecs.

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Beaded masks

These beautiful, one-of-a-kind beaded masks where made by pressing tiny glass beads into natural beeswax spread over a paper-mache form. Bead art is made in limited quantities by the Huichol and Tepehuano Indians of southwestern Mexico. Click here for additional information on the Huichol people and how this art was made.

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Beaded eclipses

The eclipse has special meaning for the Huichol, because it represents the eclipse of July 11 1991 at 10:21 a.m. Pacific Coast time. This is the sixth sun according to the ancient Meso-American Calendars of the Maya. When Cortez arrived it was the begining of the fifth sun. As we all know, Cortez changed their world more than any other force they had ever encountered in their past. Evidently they are expecting some large scale Earth changes according to their divine cosmology.

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The Huichol Center for Cultural Survival and the Traditional Arts

The Huichol Center:

Many miles away, in the desert region of San Luis Potosi, in an area that has been designated by UNESCO as a world biodiversity reserve, the aquifers and ecosystems are under siege by mining companies and agro business polluters who have illegally obtained land, water and mining rights. While the Huichols hold title to their lands in their mountain homeland, they do not have formal title to the sacred sites on these desert lands that they consider to be their primordial paradise.

 Their annual migration to this peyote habitat, “Wirikuta”, is the root of their cultural identity because it honors a sacred covenant between the Huichol people and their creators. The collection of sacred waters from the springs in this desert oasis and the harvesting of peyote for their ceremonies are a cornerstone of Huichol ceremonial life.

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The sacred cactus

Lophophora williamsii – Peyote

The peyote ceremony for the Huichol begins with their journey to find it. The land where this sacred plant grows is located hundreds of miles fromwhere they live in the remote desert of San Luis Potosi. The Huichol call this area “Wirikuta” and it is to this location that they make their annual pilgrimage to collect the sacred peyote. Once, this long journey was made by foot but today vehicles are used to travel to the general vicinity of where the plant grows.

Peyote is not an easy plant to find. It grows under bushes and its color, a gray-green hue, blends impeccably with the surrounding terrain. Sometimes peyote is ingested in order to find the plant and traditionally a shaman leads the group of people looking for it.

The quest to locate peyote is considered a hunt and the Huichol seek spiritual guidance from the blue deer, an animal that is a major deity in their cosmology. Bows and arrows are oftentimes carried by the Huichol while on their search for peyote, to symbolize the intent of the hunt. In addition to the blue deer, which is depicted frequently in their artwork, the other major deities found in the religion of the Huichol are maize, the eagle and the sacred plant, peyote. Continue reading

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The Huichol

Deep in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Western Mexico live the Huichol Indians. Very little is known about the exact origins of the Huichol, but today they are clinging to a set of customs and beliefs that make them one of the best preserved Pre-Columbian tribes in the Western Hemisphere.

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