Visions That The Plants Gave Us
Embroidered bags with endlessly repeated intricate mandalas, arabesques, spheres, cubes, triangles, zigzags, and spirals are made in intensely bright hues by women who believe these designs are gifts from the gods and must be duplicated to share with their families.
Over the last 25 years Huichols have drawn upon traditional sacred objects, transforming them into commercial art. Yarn paintings, made by applying beeswax as an adhesive to wood boards and then pressing yarn onto the boards, most likely evolved as tourist art from the small offerings Huichols make to leave in sacred places for the gods. Yarn paintings have evolved into a story-telling device by which the artist depicts a traditional myth or some aspect of Huichol life to outside consumers. From its early origins as simple paintings, the medium has undergone a metamorphosis from folk craft to fine art.
Votive gourds are used as prayer bowls and offerings. The interiors of the gourd bowls are completely covered with beeswax and beads in pulsating mandala designs. Called ônierikaö in Huichol, these mandalas represent the doorway to the other world.
-- Dr. Stacy B. Schaefer,
In the exhibition:
|© SLU, 2/3/98
Designed and maintained by: Carole Mathey
St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York
Last updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2001