Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Huichol Yarn Art

I love these yarn paintings for the vivid colors (again!) and the phantasmagorical subject matter.

The Huichol can be found in the most remote regions of the Sierra Madre mountains in Mexico. Today, the Huichol number only about 10,000.

These paintings serve as pages of their history, an explanation of the world they live in, and an accounting of good and evil. Each color, every line, every symbol, no matter how abstract, has a meaning.

White represents the cloud spirits. Blue is the south, the Pacific Ocean, water, rain, and femininity. The rabbit and serpent represent fertility. Red is the east, grandfather, fire, and masculinity. Green is the earth, heaven, healing, and the heart. The eagle is a divine guardian. The two-headed eagle is god looking all ways at once. The figure, with what appears to be long protrusions from his head, is a shaman talking with gods or the spirits. The deer represents peyote and the link between the shaman and the great spirit. Flowers, which always adorn their artwork represent the passageways of the heart.

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