Huichol Cultural Art
Huichol Art - Preserving a Culture
Peyote Visions art from the Huichol people in Central Mexico is colorful and amazingly detailed beaded figurine folk art created for tribal ceremonies. During more than five hundred years of European influence, the Huichol people of the remote mountains of the Sierra Madre have remained true to their culture and beliefs through art expression. They choose to live traditionally with their native language, dress, and spiritual beliefs. In each piece of their art, the Huichols express their beliefs with vibrant colors and amazing detail.
The Huichol people live in communities in the states of Jalisco and Nayarit in the remote mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental of Central Western Mexico, they are known for their excellent healers and artists. They are one of the most traditional indigenous nations in Mexico. Their rich culture and ancient wisdom have resisted more than five hundred years since the European invasion.
Remaining to live traditionally with their native language and dress, their beautiful art and magical ceremonies are related to them. The elaborately decorated artwork with intense color and profound symbols illustrate their ancient mythology and sacred rituals.
The materials the Huichol use are simple ones like wood, beeswax, papier mache and yarn. They decorate their musical instruments and a variety of masks and pictures and great diversity of carved animals. Their technique consists of covering a papier mache or wooden object with a fine coat of beeswax and then fixing beads or yarn to that to make objects totally decorated with colors, motifs and figures from deer, peyote plants and flowers, corn, snakes, lizards, birds, suns, moons, among others, all showing the Huichol's vast cosmogony. The art is created by artisan men, women and children that are also shamans, agriculturists, musicians, and fishermen. The gift to create the art is given during their magical rituals in their temples and sanctuaries. The peyote, their sacred plant medicine takes them to states of extraordinary visions and closeness with the spirit of the Gods and is from this experiences that the art is created (as is the song, healing or prayer made). The art is an impression of the God's spirit and reveals their vision of it. It also demonstrates the grand beauty that there is between men and woman and their intimate relationship with nature and the benefits of maintaining a mystical and devotional life as the Huichols do.
Creating their art also gives them a strong root with their tradition and helps to preserve their knowledge and culture among generations. The Huichols live in an intense struggle not to be exterminated by the dominant culture. They face the constant threat of losing their lands for commercial purposes. Although they live away from others, their lands are usurped by non-native people who use them for agricultural, livestock and forestall ends. Besides their sacred lands are being invaded by mining companies, who also spoil desert lands where the peyote is found.
In addition, the Huichol suffer from intense poverty and a criminal marginalization from the federal programs of development and health that are offered in other parts of the country in Mexico. Their young generations are experiencing the loss of their native language and the change of their traditions for the urban culture since some Huichol families have to migrate to the cities looking for better living conditions.
Their art provides them a cultural and economic source to help them live in dignity within their communities, preserving their tradition and make themselves known within the world to lessen the possibility of their eradication. Through your purchase of this fair traded Huichol art objects, you are supporting the culture and survival of many Huichol families with whom we collaborate.
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