Yarn paintings use intricate Huichol symbolism and designs to depict shamanic journeys and visions. Created by pressing yarn into bee’s wax from special hives melted onto a wooden base, they illustrate the Huichol cosmology which includes a connection to all things in the natural world. These yarn paintings are representations of what is important to them in their shamanic ways and belief systems. Often, they are made after a vision or dream to capture specific symbols and images. A yarn painting can bring a powerful energy to any space and does so for the Huicholes who place them in spaces for ceremony, offerings and inspiration.
This yarn painting, handmade by a Huichol Indian in Mexico, depicts Werika, the Eagle Goddess, Queen of the Heavens, soaring above a fire. The Huichols believe that fire is one of the most valuable gifts from the gods. Tatewari, the spirit of fire, is responsible for bestowing visions. Throughout the yarn painting, Kayumari, the spirit of the blue deer, is present. Kayumari is one of the greatest Huichol guides, for it teaches Shamans to learn, navigate visions, connect with the spirit world, and heal. Above the corn stalks, which are imperative to Huichol survival, is the sun, representing light and illumination in the world, and giving all living things their power. The yarn painting is filled with flowers, candles, which are linked to the light within the human spirit, prayer arrows, feathers, and spirits. This yarn painting, like all others, is sacred. It was created to connect this world to Spirit, to open pathways for visions and insights, to praise and thank the world that surrounds us.