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Huichol Yarn Painting

Paintings from the Huichol Indian Mexicans.
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on 11 November 2013

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Transcript of Huichol Yarn Painting

Huichol Yarn Painting
Paintings from the Huichol Indian Mexicans
Huichol art broadly groups the most traditional and most recent innovations in the folk art and hand crafts produced by the Huichol people, who live in the states of Jalisco and Nayarit in Mexico.

The name Huichol is derived from the word Wirriarika, which means soothsayer or medicine man in the Huichol language.

The religious faith of the Huichols is still based on a “trinity” of veneration of the deer, corn and peyote.

Huichol had no written language until recently.
Symbols were and still are the primary form of preserving the ceremonies, myths and beliefs of ancient Huichol religion.


The importance of this and the pantheon of gods is seen in their stylistic representations on just about everything that the Huichol decorate.

Symbols were and still are the primary form of preserving the ceremonies, myths and beliefs of ancient Huichol religion.

The unifying factor of the work is the colorful decoration using symbols and designs which date back centuries.

The designs have changed little and many retain their religious and symbolic significance.

When ceremonial or religious items are made, all aspects of the making from materials to colors to designs are important as they are identified with particular gods and meanings.



Symbols and Designs
Mesquite and the color reddish brown belong to Tatewari, who is of the earth and the wood of the Brazil tree is related to Tayuapa or “Father Sun.”
Symbols such as the golden eagle and macaws are related to Tatewari. Shapes such as the deer, coyote, pine tree or whirlwind can be associated with Tamat’s Kauyumari, who shaped the world.

The salate tree, the armadillo and the bear are associated with Takutzi Nakahue, the mother of all gods and of corn. T

he toto is a small white flower with five petals associated with the rainy season.

Sashes and belts often have designs that mimic the markings on the backs of snakes, which are also associated with rain, along with good crops, health and long life.

Although the sale of artwork is a way of survival, Huichol art is deeply symbolic, and nierikas — bead or yarnwork "votive paintings" — are petitions to the gods.

Maize, peyote and deer are usually present as well as candles, arrows, serpents, scorpions and the gods' eyes that point to the four cardinal directions.

Each individual Huichol artisan develops his or her own personal style.
Symbolism and Art
José Benítez Sánchez is a shaman-artist, who helped to expand yarn painting from its early decorative function to larger more vision like pieces.

Huichol Indian Mexican Artist
Our Elder Brother Kauyumari's Nierika
José Benítez Sánchez
1974
The Ancestor Spirits Rise to the Surface of the Earth
José Benítez Sánchez, 1974,
1938-2009
Huichol Indian Mexican Artist
Guadalupe González Río's paintings, figures are not connected to each other by linear relationships. Instead, they reflect and emanate a mystical attitude. Human prototypes appear to float in a vacuum, defying gravity to levitate in space. The primary focal point is the central being of the ancestor invoked in the yarn painting, around which everything else is arranged. Points, stars, and other symbols represent various prayers, and multiple beings invoke the legendary figures and their allies.
Birth of The Tree of Wind
Artist: Guadalupe González Ríos, 1973
A Mystical Communion with the Tree of Wind
Artist: Guadalupe González Ríos, 1973
Huichol Indian Mexican Artist
Pablo Taisán de la Cruz is also known by his Huichol name, Yauxali, which means "The Costume of Our Father (Sun)." He became a rare exception among yarn painters as an expert maraakame (shaman) who approached his work as a master of purely sacred art. His output was sporadic, and his explanations were couched in esoteric vocabulary.
The Accomodation of the Rains
By Pablo Taisán de la Cruz, a. k. a. Yauxali,
Spring 1981
The Bees Find their Way to their Hive
By Pablo Taisán de la Cruz a. k. a. Yauxali.
Spring 1981
Huichol Culture
Symbols and Designs
Huichol Indian Mexican
Culture and History
Huichol Art Gallery Interview
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