This beautiful, one-of-a-kind yarn painting was made by pressing thin strands of acrylic yarn into natural beeswax spread over a wooden board. Yarn art is made in limited quantities by the Huichol and Tepehuano Indians of southwestern Mexico. Written on the back of each painting is a description of the work, written in Spanish by artist Felix Bautista Ramos.
The rugged mountains and remote villages of the Sierra de Nayarit north of Guadalajara are the homeland of roughly ten to fourteen thousand Huichol Indians. These were among the last tribes to come under Spanish rule, and their religion still is essentially pagan, revolving around several important agricultural deities. Deer is the most sacred of all animals, its blood a symbol of fertility. Corn is the source of all life, for it was Nacahue, mother of all gods, who gave corn to the first man for planting, and from it was born the first Huichol woman. Peyote is a means of communication with the gods, and the consumption of peyote by the Huichol people is a deeply religious experience. The unity of these three elements — deer, corn, and peyote — represent the core of Huichol beliefs.
The Huichols express these feelings through their art, which is made not from the standpoint of decoration, but to give profound expression to deep spiritual beliefs. This makes traditional Huichol art, whether it be meticulous beadwork, yarn paintings, wooden masks, or striking embroidered and woven personal adornments, beautiful not only from its aesthetic standpoint but from the psychological as well.
Click here for additional information on the Huichol people and how this art was made, and here for an Adobe Reader file describing the significance of their symbols and color choices.