The Huicholes are part of the Mexican people. They currently live in the north of Jalisco, part of Nayarit, Zacatecas and Durango
They live quite isolated, and are still very proud of their ancient customs. They still conserve very ancient customs, of which they are very proud.
The Huicholes are one of the ethnic groups that have managed to remain "pure" since the time of the Spanish conquest. They refer to themselves as "Wirrárrica" or "Wirraritari".
(plural). It is not known if the word "huicholes"
is a variation of "Wirrárrica" or "Wixarika".
. The mountains are inhabited by the mystical culture of the Huichol community, in which enigmatic worlds are constantly being created and whose recurring protagonists are moons, suns, trees, labyrinths, spirals, mountains and cosmic oceans
that are tirelessly expressed in the art, religion and customs of the Huichol, a people of Huichol artists who have remained unscathed by outside influence through the centuries, come from west-central Mexico, where the Huichols live in remote parts of the Sierra Madre Occidental in the states of Nayarit and Jalisco.
Ritual art initiation.
Because it belongs to the specific religious practice of an indigenous group, Huichol art has different dimensions than the contemporary art we usually find in museums and galleries. The Huichol world
is divided into three universes: the universe of the mythology
the Huichol holds that life began in the ocean; the Huichol refers to the corn,
where daily life and Huichol traditions are developed and the one that has to do with the mysticism,
which reveals the Huichol world and the Huichol art of their rituals that distinguish them and give them identity as a Huichol community.
Although, the origin of this fascinating Huichol ethnic group
is uncertain, what is indisputable is that during the period of the Conquest, many survivors of various indigenous peoples, mainly the Huichol, fled into the interior of the Sierra Madre Occidental to escape the trail of destruction left by the Spanish troops.
The Huichol art
is a form of writing, since through their creations, the Huichol tell us their stories and myths. In each handicraft the Huichol leave a piece of their life. Currently, it can be said that there is no other ethnic group in Mexico that preserves their beliefs, cults and traditions as deeply as the Huicholes.
We can see among their artistic pieces figures lined with chaquira
representing a great number of shapes and animals, the worsted boards
that offer us a window into their mystical-magical world and accessories
finely elaborated with "chaquira and microchaquira".
that are surprising for their beauty, among them you can find bracelets, necklaces, earrings, pectorals
and countless accessories made with the tiny chaquira beads.
Among the most beautiful and aesthetic cultural and handcrafted elements of Huichol art are the worsted paints
of the Huichol marakame (shamans). In these pieces they relate everyday events of their lives, telling us through a painting a wonderful story full of mysticism and bringing us closer to the beginning of time.
In the Huichol religion, everything exists thanks to the visionary experience of the initiates and their great effort to obtain "the gift of seeing" or nierika. The art of the collection of worsted boards from NIERIKA
is the work of various artists or artisans, who follow these ritual paths, and have left us in these pieces parts of their personal search.
The Huichol art
has an enigmatic beauty that takes us through mythical paths and brings us closer to the beginning of time in the Huichol Culture, but it is not only about Huichol myths drawn by the Huichol artists who draw them on yarn or thread, in the Huichol religion, the world exists thanks to the visionary experience of the Huichol initiate and his effort to obtain the "nierika" or "gift of seeing".
. Thus, for the Huichol, Huichol artistic creation has a cosmogonic dimension.
For the huichol
the world possesses a sacred dimension to which the world has a sacred dimension. mara'akame (shaman)
penetrates through sleep, establishing a link between the world of the gods and the profane. Customs: If the Huichol has fallen ill due to an evil spell, the mara'akame must "clean" the sick person with feathers while spraying tobacco smoke all over his body to then suck out with his mouth the object causing the illness; when the sick person has lost the kupúri (a part of the Huichol's soul located on the top of the head) the mara'akame must go in search of it to put it back in its place, but when it has been stolen by a sorcerer, the Huichol mara'akame must confront him to recover it.
It is because of the importance of the huichol sacred world
and its intrinsic relationship with the Huichol way of life, that in their art are always expressed, hundreds of stories that narrate the mythology and cosmogony of this fascinating culture. All those Huichol handicrafts that are not oriented to commercial purposes, are created to narrate the diverse religious experiences of the Huichol in each of their authors, becoming fantastic pieces of beautiful colors and unimaginable figures that can only be conceived in the mind of the Huichol artist.
The ancestral legend:
The Huichol legend tells how, in the beginning of time, there was no light in the world but that of the moon, which was a great inconvenience for man. The elders and those who possessed knowledge then gathered to discuss how to bring more light into the world, they begged the moon to send them her only son, a lame and one-eyed boy. At first the Moon objected, but in the end gave her consent. Then, they dressed the boy in ceremonial clothes, consisting of huaraches (sandals), feathers, and bags to keep tobacco; then they gave him a bow and arrows as a weapon and painted his face, and then threw him into a furnace, where the fire consumed him completely. However, the child was resurrected and ran under the earth, and to everyone's astonishment: five days later, the Sun appeared. When the Sun spread its light on the earth, all the nocturnal animals (jaguars and mountain lions, coyotes, foxes and snakes) were greatly disturbed and shot their arrows at the day star.
The heat and rays of the Sun were intense and blinded the night animals, forcing them to hide in dark caves, puddles and trees; had it not been for the squirrel and the "pitorreal", the Sun would not have been able to complete its first journey across the sky. These were the only two animals that defended the Sun; they would rather have given their lives than allow the Sun to die, and at sunset they left some "tesguino" in sight so that the Sun could pass. The jaguars and wolves killed the squirrel and the pitorreal in the end, but, even to this day, the Huicholes make offerings to these heroes and call the squirrel "Father".
Apart from the sale of their handicrafts, the main productive activities of the Huicholes are basically those necessary for their livelihood: hunting, fishing and agriculture. Their main crops are corn, squash, pumpkin, zucchini, amaranth, beans and chilies
. They still plow the land using wooden plows, and when the terrain permits, they use a yoke of oxen. All agricultural land is communal property. There is temporary migration among the Huicholes.
Their religious, political and economic life is organized in such a way that they can migrate from one place to another and then return to their places of origin. There are Huichol settlements in Tepic, Calvillo, Fresnillo and Guadalajara;
although it is not clear whether these settlements are temporary or permanent.