The Huichol Indians of the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico are known for their beautifully intricate yarn paintings and bead work. The Huichol are a small tribe of approximately 35,000 living in central western Mexico near Ixtlan in the Sierra Madre Mountains.
The Huichol are a small tribe of approximately 35,000 living in central western Mexico near Ixtlan in the Sierra Madre Mountains. They are said to be the last tribe in North America to have maintained their pre-Columbian traditions. Their shamans and healers practice today as they have for generations. In part, their survival is due to the focus of their traditions, as well as their remote mountainous territory.
Descended of the ancient Aztecs, the Huichol indians are a family-oriented people. In fact, it is common for several generations of Huichol to live under the same roof. The Huichol people are recognized for their elaborate artwork and paintings.
The Art of the Huichol Indians
Huichol Art are often illustration of mara’akame visions. The Huichol people are known for their beautiful Nieli’kas which are created for display in their holy temples and religious caves and temples. Beaded eggs, jaguar heads and intricate yarn paintings are a hallmark of Huichol artwork. Ceremonial bowls, and hand-painted figurines are also a celebrated part of Huichol artwork. Celestial events such as solar and lunar eclipses are often depicted on Huichol artwork using bright colors and traditional handcrafted techniques. Colorful masks are a beautiful aspect of Huichol Indian art developed to mirror the face-paint during religious ceremonies.
The Huichol way of life is rich with ceremonial practices. There are specific ceremonies for the four seasons, which are intended to bring balance and harmony to each individual, the community and all of life. The ceremonies are a time for the people to come together and focus on the spirit world, this normally hidden universe that runs parallel to our world. The shamans work to bridge these two worlds in order to bring “kupuri” or life force into the bodies and souls of the people. They say that this, in turn, imparts good health and good luck to all.
One of the most important of the ceremonies is the “Dance of the Deer.” This ceremony offers the chance for people to dance their prayers into the altar of Mother Earth. It is also a way to connect with the Deer Spirit, probably the most important of the Huichol animal powers. The deer is seen as an elder brother, a guide, which the shamans use to navigate the spirit realm and also for healing. In their mythology, the gods and goddesses taught the deer in ancient times. He was the first student of shamanism, the first to learn the secrets of the original shaman, Grandfather Fire. It is because of this that the deer is so revered and such an integral part of Huichol ceremonial practice.
The Huichol use many sacred objects both for ceremonial practices, as well as in their everyday life. Most of these objects are woven into their intricate mythology. Objects often provide both a practical and spiritual use. This is an example of how Huichol culture combines the sacred and the functional.
Much of Huichol art requires patience unknown to the modern world. For instance, the large beaded figures, such as the deer, jaguars, and eagles, are made one bead at a time. Making the art is much like a meditative practice, involving a great deal of focus and concentration.
The Huichol way of life continues today much as it has for thousands of years. Still without electricity or running water, the Huichol people rely on their relationship with nature to sustain their communities.
Now exclusively available at ChocolaTree Marketplace in Sedona, we humbly offer in an effort to support these tribal efforts and this sacred, ancient tribes way of life- these exclusive, one-of-a-kind beaded jewelry bracelets and necklaces. Each is individually priced with unique sizing, available only inside our Sedona location.