This piece features many of the sacred symbols of the Huichol people. The drum is used in ceremonies to communicate with the gods. A candle represents the sacred gift of light. Corn is the mother of all divine beings. The prayer arrow is a sacred offering to the spririts to express gratitude. Muvieri is the shaman’s wand used to communicate between nature and spirit worlds.
This yarn painting is known to the Huichols as a neirika; a portal between the physical and spiritual worlds.
Yarn paintings consist of commercial yarn pressed into boards coated with wax and resin and are derived from a ceremonial tablet called a neirika. What mostly links the yarn paintings made today is the continuance of the traditional patterns used for centuries to represent and communicate with the gods.
The Huichols are an indigenous people who mostly live in the mountainous areas of northern Jalisco and parts of Nayarit in north central Mexico with the towns of San Andrés, Santa Catarina and San Sebastián as major cultural centers. Their numbers are estimated at 50,000 and the name Huichol is derived from the word Wirriarika, which means soothsayer or medicine man. The religious faith of the Huichols is still based on a “trinity” of veneration of the deer, corn and peyote. The last is ritually gathered each year on a long pilgrimage to the desert area of San Luis Potosí, where the people are said to have originated and used by shamans.
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