Wixarika Huichol Art

Mexico Handmade

Huichol art generally groups together the most traditional and recent innovations in folk arts and crafts produced by the Huichols, who mostly live in the state of Nayarit and in part of Jalisco, Durango, San Luis Potosí and Zacatecas, in Mexico.

The factor these works have in common is the colorful decoration using symbols and designs that date back centuries. The most common and commercial products are “yarn pictures” and objects decorated with small beads, or beads, produced commercially. The pictures of yarn consist of pressing commercial yarn on boards covered with wax and resin, and are derived from a ceremonial table called nearika. The Huichol people have a long history of working with beads, making them out of clay, shells, corals, seeds, and more, and using them to make jewelry and decorate bowls and other objects. “Modern” beads usually consist of wooden masks and sculptures covered with small, colorful commercial beads attached with wax and resin.

Although the materials have changed and the purpose of several of the items has changed from religious to commercial, the designs have changed very little and many retain their religious and symbolic significance. The experience of most foreigners with Huichol art is like tourists in areas like Tepic, the Riviera Nayarit, Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta, not knowing anything about who makes the items and about the meanings of the designs. There are some notable Huichol artists in the fields of yarn and bead paintings, and both types of work have been commissioned for public display.


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