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.
Measures 8 x 8 inches
Shamans – The spiritual leaders who are ambassadors to the gods, shamans preside over ceremonies, recite the divine passages, cure the sick, interpret dreams, etc. They are believed to have supernatural powers and insights in the metaphysical world that are considered out of reach for normal humans.
Fire – 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.
Prayer Arrows – Used to express gratitude or requests to the gods, called Urus, prayer arrows, like gourd bowls, are ceremonial objects through which the gods are believed to give their blessings. Special prayer arrows have crystals attached to them, representing the spirits of departed ancestors.
Peyote Cacti – 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.
Candles – Represent the illumination of the human spirit, Catira, candles hold the sacred gift from the sun and fire gods. Along with flowers and ribbons, attached candles serve as offerings and payment to the deities who have granted special wishes to a Huichol.
DEER – 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.
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.