|Cilau Valadéz with yarn painting|
The Huichol people (known as Wixarika in their own language) have long communicated their myths, stories and beliefs through symbols and artwork. Nierikas (pronounced Near-eeka) are yarn paintings made by placing colored yarns into a natural glue made from tree resin and beeswax. A foundational belief of the Huichol is that people are connected to nature and all living things, and that it is their duty to take care of the earth because they depend on it for survival.
Beyond decorative, these hand crafted pieces of artwork express deep spiritual beliefs and are part of rituals the Huichol participate in on a regular basis, whether it’s asking the gods to bring rain for the crops or for the balance needed for life to prosper. Young people learn to create these pieces at a young age and they are then left in sacred places such as temples, springs or caves.
Although yarn paintings are an ancient art form to the Huichol people, these paintings are a relative newcomer to the world of Mexican Folk Art. Susan Page from Galería Antotonilco states, "Modern Huichol yarn paintings have an interesting history and are one of the great success stories of indigenous art. It is only since the 1950s that what began as little-known tribal votive offerings evolved into an international art, sold all around the world. Yarn paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States.”
It was the governor of the State of Jalisco who first organized an exhibition of Huichol yarn paintings in the late 1950s and they have grown in popularity since then because of their bright colors, symbolism and artistry.
Cilau Valadéz, the son of renowned Huichol artist Mariano Valadéz and anthropologist Susana Eger Valadéz will be presenting a lecture on Huichol yarn painting at Feria 2018. Read here for more about Cilau, his father and their work.
La Fuente Imports http://www.lafuente.com/Mexican-Art/Huichol-Yarn-Art/