RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Imagine  >  Step over threshold: The magical art of the huichol

Step over threshold: The magical art of the huichol

Author: 25.05.2019 | art, Mexico
Dazzling flashes of ancient knowledge manifested in colourful shimmering beads and in elaborated yarn mosaics by Huichol Indians, captivate the imagination calling for an endless journey through branches of the world tree. Spiritual images take on flesh in intricate ornaments that accompany a Mexican peasant throughout his life.

Twilight land of legends always have a shelter for a weary traveller: no one is alone on the paths of spirits.

Works by Huichol artists noticeably stand out against the abundance of souvenir production, filling stalls of Mexican markets at the height of tourist season. Juicy psychedelic tones break beyond the accurate lines of patterns strictly calibrated by tradition, blurring boundaries between dream and reality. The distinctive art and crafts of Huichol people do not follow requirements of modern satiated audience, remembering about its sacred mission to transfer messages of the subtle world.Photo 3.bp.blogspot.com

Each Indian artist also acts as a shaman, transferring to a mosaic his visions seen in an altered state of consciousness. To dive into a trance, village sorcerers use the peyote cactus juice containing psychoactive substances. Disinhibition of subcortical structures of the primitive psyche opened up access to the direct perception of reality outside the individuality, space and time imposed by brain and socialization mechanisms. Finished products that are brought as a gift to the spirits-helpers, were used to decorate sanctuaries and huts. Keeping in contact with the transcendent experience, the Indians cultivated a sense of unity and harmony with the creative forces of the Cosmos. Invisible threads connecting everything into a single body, are depicted in the form of zigzag lines connecting diverse figures on the canvas.

The artistic tradition of the Huichol supports two related areas: nierika and chaguira. Creating nierika, craftsman shows miracles of patience while filling in surreal pictorial panel of dyed wool. The basis is a wooden tablet with a hole in the middle through which people and gods can see each other. A smooth surface of sanded and waxed wood is covered with a thin layer of beeswax into which threads of multicolour woollen yarn are pressed. A resulting complex fantasy picture has something in common with the Buddhist mandala. Iridescent play of colours radiates a powerful energy of primordial elements that feed the national ideal of invincible vitality and resilience in the face of trials.Photo img-fotki.yandex.ru

Chaguira genre involves decorating of masks, vessels and figurines with intricate mosaic ornaments. The waxed work pieces carved from wood and pumpkin are covered with beads and pendants. Some artisans prefer improvised material: seeds, grains, small pieces of stones and mineral crumbs.

See also: Art of topiary

According to some anthropologists, Huichol mythology most reliably reflects perception of environment of the Aztecs. Missionaries were in no hurry to carry the Good News to remote villages, lost among the harsh peaks of the Sierra Madre. The geographic isolation of indigenous communities safeguarded original system of occult symbols from the Christian impact, compensating the scarcity of available tools for visualization of vast metaphysical landscape. Every detail is imbued with secret meaning, and the selected colours and materials translate certain energies. Here it is not just a fun souvenir, but a real magical artefact!Photo volshebnaya-strana.com.ua

It is not difficult to guess the meaning of cool blue and green tones in the colourful palette of magic - cool breath of the long-awaited rain ripples down the palms. Brownish-red shades and wood belong to the god of fire Tatewari. Skull, frozen in a happy grin, promises to meet with the goddess Coatlicue, ruling over death and birth. Father Sun more willingly responds to requests, inscribed on the tablets made from the Brazil tree, which are delivered to him by his faithful companions - the royal eagles and macaws. Pine tree, a coyote, and a whirlwind, sooner or later, attract the mischievous god deer Kauyumari - the ancestor of all the Huichol. The thickets of banyan hide the ancestor of gods Nacawé surrounded by bears and armadillos. From village to village, wander stories about ritual hunting in reserve of Virikuta and about creation of the universe in a love embrace of the Sun and the Moon. Some images preserve echoes of more ancient times: for instance, the cult of the goddess butterfly Itzpapalotl is a legacy of the Aztecs, and jaguars are borrowed from the Mayas.Photo i.ytimg.com

Puzzling composition of nierika and chaguira deliberately gives an outsider the run around, showing hundreds of masks of the same archetype, although the concept of product almost always comes down to the alchemical cycle of holy trinity of corn cob, deer and peyote. Indians’ logic is clear: corn is the material basis of life, peyote symbolizes a spiritual reality, and deer has a right of the god creator and the ability to move between worlds, linking the opposites together. The tension between two poles creates life.Photo permaculturesayulita.com

Leading Mexican designers often turn to folk motives in search of the unique decoration ideas. Donna Emeterio Rios Martinez creates magnificent murals of yarn, make up for the lack of heart warmth in the urban area. A Huichol bead mural decorates a hall of metro station Palais Royal-Musee de Louvre in Paris: it is a huge canvas-nierika Huichol Thought and Soul mounted from eighty panels - a gift from colleagues from Mexico City Metro. Perhaps, the most unusual work done in the Huichol folk style is an art object Vochol - a car Volkswagen Beetle, braided by fabulous flowers from beads, fastened to the body of the car using a special heat-resistant resin.Photo skullsproject.files.wordpress.com

Cover photo shamanism.com

It will be interesting:
Handicraft: persian carpets
In those days when the Persian soldiers were second to none, and both the Roman Empire and the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by their power, skilful fingers of winner nation craftswomen created their first masterpiece. The carpet called The Springtime passed into history as the most precious of all time. It symbolized powerful rule of the Persians, and its beauty told about the divine origin of the king Khosrow I.
Michelangelo Antonioni: a Poet of the Desert of Human Soul
Complicated spiritual world of the people of the 20th century has become a fruitful topic for many cinematographers but a special place in its exploration belongs to Antonioni. The director has gained global fame with the movies that display inner world of his contemporaries, their loneliness and lack of social connections(the concept that has become crucial in the art of the master).
Where to go? Top five of the most interesting museums of modern art in Europe
Françoise Barbe-Gall teaches how to talk to children about art. She gives practical advices in her books, teaches to see things invisible to many people, to notice details and forget about labels. But we have to admit there are very few people who can boast with expertise in this area. If you want to change this order of things, today we offer you to go with us to the museums.
Mandala Therapy
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue...
METRO beauty
Residents of big cities almost daily use the subway as a transport means. Alas, in the rapid pace of modern life a few people can afford to enjoy the design of these transit hubs. OUTLOOK is not able to stop time, but allow us to highlight fifteen of the most mesmerizing underground subway station from all around the world.
The magnificent world of land-art: Patrick Dougherti
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti.
Houses that they build…Unusual houses
Treehouses, dug-outs and secret shelters – all the things we used to build when children. Unfortunately, as we grow older, fantasy fades and most of us now live in uncomfortable grey “boxes”. However, there are people who have created dwellings of their dreams by themselves.
The Ambassador Elena Leticia Teresa Mikusinski held a diplomatic reception, the world-famous Argentine singer Gerónimo Rauch became an honored guest
The Column Hall of the Kyiv City State Administration on June 11 welcomed guests of the Embassy of the Argentine Republic to Ukraine on the occasion of a national day. The Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, representatives of the government and its agencies, partners of the embassy, the business community and the media lined up to congratulate the head of a foreign diplomatic institution and express their greetingss to friendly Argentina.
Let's have a seat!
Walking along the Kyiv Landscape Alley, you always notice amazing benches created by Ukrainian masters. My favorite one is with a blanket and a pillow, because it seems comfortable even in inclement weather. Sitting on it, I remembered a picture from my childhood: the grandmothers take a long board out of the house, put it at one end on the stump, the other - on the railing of the entrance, and it turns out to be a bench. Wasn't it a design miracle?
Art of topiary
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
White gold of Tianxia. Chinese porcelain
The civilization of ancient China was one of the first to discover porcelain. It is established that back in II millennium BC the firing temperature of pottery found in the Yellow River was close to 1200 ° C. According to some researchers, the invention of porcelain was dictated by the desire to find a replacement for greenstone and jade.
Belgian lace: Waltz of a thousand threads
At the sight of Flemish lacework it is hard to shake the feeling that miraculous flowers, artfully braided into a wreath of a pattern, were born from loose sparks that had escaped a magic wand. On the inside of the beauty there are efforts and days of jetsam girls, stolen from life by labyrinth of openwork loops.
Rice fields: Grains of unbelievable beauty
- Do you want to try some rice? - such a question is greeted by guests in China. And if the owners are also farmers, they can invite you on an unusual excursion and show you the masterpiece of natural art. The grass which we often eat without thinking about its aesthetics, at the time of growing resembles a blanket woven from multi-colored rags ...
Unusual therapy: dolphins help to get rid of stress
How to get rid of stress and get a lot of fun? They say dolphin therapy is an effective remedy against emotional pain. Walking with dolphins can bring a bottomless amount of emotions and even expand the boundaries of the mind ... At least, the supporters of this way of thinking say so. Which countries are best to travel in order to be treated by the method of dolphin therapy?
Shadows in Paradise: The way modern art surprises the Lovers of the unconventional
A borderline between the shadow and the light is just as contrasting as the one between the dream and the reality. Therefore artists use both things in pursuit of balance on a painting. Landscapes, portraits and still-life… nothing ever goes without the clash of the opposites. However there are particularly crafty artisans who do not need light at all. Shadow alone is enough.
VIDEO: Cliff-side towns
Our cities are literally overfilled with concrete, glass and plastic. However, no matter how heavy-duty these construction materials are, sometimes the best foundation is nature. Today, OUTLOOK focuses on towns built "in" and "on" rocks.
Kamasan: Village of masterpieces in Bali
Bali is one of the most popular places to spend winter. Ocean, volcanoes, amazing nature and exotic fruits... But there is also one more reason that not many people know of, yet it definitely deserves attention: Kamasan, a unique art village where namesake Balinese picture art was conceived – as ancient as the island itself. We are going to tell about it today on the pages of the OUTLOOK.
Art of Patrick Cabral: paper as a symbol of fragility of our world
Independent artist originally from the Philippines, Patrick Cabral conquers the world with his unusual artwork. His creations are an innovation that combines the age-old traditions of calligraphy and cutting-edge 3D technologies. His art is a way to change the world for the better, both through aesthetics and through the fulfillment of a social mission.
Pablo Picasso: Poet for his era
About Picasso as a distinctive artist, graphic artist and sculptor, we know to some extent everything. Meanwhile, his other incarnations are pushed into the background. Ilya Ehrenburgh once very concisely described Pablo Picasso’s relations with his era: “20th century found in him its own dynamite expert, its own philosopher and its own poet”.
On the Move. Street food from around the world
Experienced tourists believe that one of the best sure-fire ways to quickly tune into the beat of another culture is to try local food. In order not to be at a loss when choosing dishes and save precious time for spiritual food, Outlook gives you selective advice on street gastronomy from seven spots of the globe.
Close
Outlook facebook page