This beaded bracelet was made by a Huichol artisan in Mexico. It depicts corn stalks, Kayumari, the sacred blue deer god, and the peyote medicine cactus. It measures 7 x 2 inches.
The spirit guide Kauyumari, who leads the shamans on their visionary pathways and teaches them how to gain their special knowledge. One of the most commonly seen motifs, the deer, maxa in Huichol, often appear in male and female pairs, symbolizing the unity between men and women on their spiritual journey. Legends about the deer abound in Huichol culture. The deer mother is the guardian spirit, the important animal in Huichol shamanism. She holds tobacco gourds and corn plant, both of utmost importance for Huichol survival. The Huichols believe that deer give their lives willingly to those who hunt them in a sacred manner. After a deer hunt, the hunters have to perform purifying rituals for many days to insure that the animals are properly thanked for giving their lives to the benefit of the people.
Considered a very valuable gift from the gods, fire is called Tai. Tai is believed to enable the Huichol to have visions. The fire god, Tatewari, is always honored at Huichol ceremonies, and receives many offerings such as corn meal, sacred water and much of the art that they make.
Symbol for life, sustenance, health, success, good luck and acquisition of shamanic powers, the peyote appears in practically all Huichol art and is considered a gift from the gods to the people to enlighten their lives and bring them into the mystical realm.
Flowers play a part in all Huichol ceremonies, and all flowers are considered sacred in healing rituals; the patient’s head is anointed with flowers. Shamans use them to prepare for the deer hunt and during harvest ceremonies to adorn the new corn. One flower that appears often is called Kiera, the tree of the wind. It is a hallucinogenic plant said to open the Huichols spirits to the highest level of enlightenment.
White: Cloud Spirits.
Red: The East, fire, masculinity.
Yellow: A special root from Wirikuta used for face paint in ceremonies.
Orange: “Wirikuta,” the sacred land where the Huichol believe life began and also where they gather peyote