From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Huichol artwork: One bead at a time

Huichols (Photo by Tomas Castelazo)
According to the Dance of the Deer Foundation website, much of the Huichol artwork “requires patience unknown to the modern world.”  It includes elaborate beaded figures such as eagles, deer and jaguars that are lovingly created “one bead at a time.”

This level of patience is reflected in the overall culture of the Huichol people.  Their pre-Columbian tribal lifestyle deep within Mexico’s Sierra Madre region insures that the Huichol are
interdependent with both one another and their natural surroundings.

The men collect firewood, fish and farm – while the women collect water, cook and “create the sacred artwork.”  The Huichol's overall focus is on “keeping the balance of nature” in order to survive and thrive – both physically and spiritually.

Although Huichol shamanism “honors all of creation,” it especially attends to “the spirit of nature.”  Huichols believe that within each and every one of us lies “a miniature universe, a mirror of both the natural and spiritual worlds.”  Their shamanism teaches how to harmonize these two planes of existence.

The Huichol cosmology has been orally transmitted from generation to generation.  The Dance of the Deer Foundation is committed to preserving these Huichol creation stories, partly by documenting them.


Copyright June 23, 2014 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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