in the Sierra de Nayarit, just north of Guadalajara, Mexico, you will find
approximately 12,000 Huichol (Wee-Chol) Indians, a tribe believed to
descend from the Aztec Indians. This
area of Mexico is remote and rugged, and home to one of the last tribes to
exist under the Spanish rule. The
Huichol Indians still follow pagan beliefs, consider deer a sacred animal,
grow corn, which is thought to be the source of all life, and use a form
of communication called peyote. Because
of this, the core of the Huichol Indians consist of deer, corn, and
a very religious and isolated group of people, they express their feelings
through art. So incredible is
the Huichol bead art that most consider it a powerful decoration more than
a profound religious statement. As
a part of this art, you will find yarn paintings, wooden masks, woven or
embroidered adornments, and the most beautiful of all, the incredible bead
work, which is thought to have been created for more than 200 years.
Keep in mind that this tribe has its own culture, traditions, and
language, meaning the Huichol bead art created is like nothing else in the
create bead art, the Huichol Indians place a thin layer of beeswax with
pine resin onto a hollowed out gourd or wooden form.
Then, very carefully and meticulously, small, colorful beads made
from glass are picked up with a long needle and pressed into the wax.
Using complex designs and symbols, the result is stunning.
Each piece tells a unique story about the legacy of this tribe and
their religious beliefs.