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).
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
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.
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