The Huicholes of the Nayar mountains communicate the legends and myths of their culture through stunning works of art. Their yarn paintings are the most expressive in their story telling. With their bold graphics and most intricate use of colorful thread, each piece is uniquely different than any other. Yarn is pressed inch by inch, by hand onto a wooden board with honey as an adhesive. A painting of this size could take up to a month to complete. This piece was done on a circular wooden board and are very rare.
The artist was working in a shady part of a cobble stone street. Her two sons sitting at either side of her passing her beads or threads. She said Sundays were her favorite days, she loved spending the time talking to people like me interested in her life's work. It took her four hours each way to make it to town from her mountain top home, to work. She told me the story of this particular yarn painting and I promised I would tell it to the next:
"In the stories of our former lives, man was deer, which we see at the center of this piece. We were part of the natural world. When the deer became too curious and stood up on two legs, his antlers fell from his head and he became man. As man, we continue to worship and have ceremonies celebrating our Gods. The smoking of peyote helps us reconnect to the natural world, where we pray to the God Cayumare who provides us with a fruitful harvest of maize."