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Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index


El Arte de los Huicholes [The Art of the Huichols].

Torres, Ramon Mata. (1980).
Guadalajara: The author.







ISBN: None


Description: Paperback, 126 pages. Tomo II (book 2 of a set of 2), originally published in 1971. Translated by Catherine Finerty. Numerous photographs. The text is in both Spanish and English.


Contents: 17 chapters in Spanish each followed by an English translation.


Excerpt(s): Yarn paintings (or tablas or tablillas as many people call them), originated with nierikas. A nierika is a round or square offering made of wood or paper board. It has one of both sides covered with wax and, pressed into the wax, designs in yarn representing whatever the Huichol is asking of the gods. ...

From these magic little tablets, or nierikas, there developed some thirty years ago the large yarn paintings, which one see in expositions and in those shops where Huichol art is sold.

The art (or craft) of making yarn paintings does not exist in the Huichol zone. The tablas of sizable dimensions such as one sees in the museum at Tepic, in Zapopan or in the Casa de las Artesanias, started to appear when the Huichols began going more often to the city and found themselves needing money to satisfy their material needs. At that time the art of the Huichol yarn painting started to develop, not in the Huichol country, where it ought to have, but in cities, chiefly Tepic, Guadalajara and Mexico. In the Huichol zone one finds only the little magical tablas mentioned above. Yarn paintings are a new art which the Huichols started and continue entirely outside the Sierra, far from the melieu in which they have always lived. Eighteen years ago yarn paintings were exhibited in Guadalajara for the first time. (page 31)


The intensely vivid colors in the pictures are based on the images and the colors seen after eating peyote. The colors in the embroidery on Huichol clothes are based on peyote dreams too. Color is something a Huichol carries inside himself like a precious legacy. Peyote is the source of these chromatic riches. (page 32)



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