This beaded gourd bowl was made by a Huichol artisan in Mexico. According to www.thehuicholcenter.org, these gourd bowl are used by shamans as containers filled with important symbols, such as corn, animals, and images of family members. Colorfully decorated, they are carried during ceremonies and prayer for protection, health, and abundance. The symbols themselves represent attributes of different gods and goddesses. They are placed in shrines and sacred sites throughout the Huichol homeland. The Deer are is 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. This bowl is about 2.5 inches around.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF COLORS:
WHITE – Cloud Spirits.
RED – The East, fire, masculinity.
BLUE – The South, Pacific Ocean, water, rain, femininity.
GREEN – The Earth, the Heavens, healing, the heart, grandfather, growth.
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.