Crafts in Mexico make up an important cultural heritage due to the creativity of Mexican artisans in each of its pieces and its vibrant colors. It is precisely in a community with a strong attachment to its traditions, where one of the most magical and representative artistic expressions of Mexico originates: Huichol art.
The Huichol or Wixarika are an indigenous community living in western central Mexico, in the Sierra Madre Occidental, mainly in the states of Jalisco and Nayarit, as well as in some areas of Durango and Zacatecas. If you are in any of these destinations, you should not miss the opportunity to visit their communities or to get close to a Huichol artisan while he is working on his handicrafts.
Each of the pieces made by a Huichol artisan is a very special representation of his roots and customs. Artisans base themselves on the belief about their origins, in other words, upon each of the four elements of creations: earth, water, air and fire. The origin of Huichol art dates back to ancient times, when the shamans or priests of the community created figures representing deities and sacred animals. Their inspiration came from a ritual that allowed them to uplift their minds and cross the threshold of the unknown, thus coming into close contact with their deities.
This magical and cosmic atmosphere has been preserved in time. Today, every artisan integrates into each of his objects a reflection of his daily life made with different materials, where the colors and shapes are of a unique beauty. Scorpions, iguanas, turtles, deer, jaguars, jicaras (gourds) or small cups and even masks are just some of the forms of these deities enshrined in Huichol art.
Transforming the cosmos into art
Once the artisan has obtained the vision of his next creation, he captures it on canvasses created with wooden boards, prepared with a special wax and threads of yarn dyed in different colors. This wood evokes the way of working on the ancient ceremonial board Nearika. Wood is used to make vases, platters, spoons, fruit bowls and animals upon which are traced drawings in various forms. Once the object has been molded, each artisan employs a lot of patience, and his hands place small beads, one by one, upon the mold. The same process is followed for deities or animal figures and their jewelry.
In direct contact with Huichol art
There are institutes devoted to the support and protection of the Huichol culture in Mexico, therefore their handicrafts are promoted within and outside the country. There are some internationally recognized Huichol artists who exhibit their work in galleries in Mexico and the world. Huichol art is a symbol of Mexico and can be found in the beautiful beaches of the Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta, or in the cities of Tepic and Guadalajara. In galleries in Cancun and Mexico City you will also find the vibrant work of these people who have preserved their cosmovision throughout time.
Where to buy Huichol art?
Revolución 22, Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit, Nayarit. Tel. +52329 291-3889
Huichol Collection Gallery
Paseo Diaz Ordaz 732, Centro Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 8300, México Tel. +5232 2223 0661
Museo de Arte Huichol Wixarica
Eva Briseño 152, Col. Centro, Zapopan, Jalisco 45100, México Tel. +5233 3636 4430
Yawi Traditional Art
Monte de Piedad 15, Centro Histórico, Ciudad de México, 06000, México Tel. +5255 2898 6634
Av. Xelha, Smz. 28 Mz. 3 Lt. 1 Edificio Torres Cancún Cancún, Quintana Roo, 77509, México Tel. +52 998 206 1280