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Details about Huichol Yarn Paintings
See the currently available Huichol Yarn Paintings.

Erowid now offers yarn paintings and other Huichol art as thank-you gifts for contributors. Check the descriptions of each piece for details about the art and condition.

The paintings were all created by Huichol artists in the Nayarit state in Mexico. The Sierra Madre mountains in this region are the traditional home of the Huichol people (Wixáritari). The artists' representative is a descendant of the Huichol tribe living in a Huichol community in the state capital of Tepic. He manages sales of the art for a small number of friends and relatives. All proceeds (after shipping & transaction fees) go directly to the artists. We love the art and are very happy with the artists and their representative!

The huichol "yarn painting" style is one where story-tableaus are presented as an image with one or more iconographic elements representing cultural and spiritual forms. Peyote is often depicted, along with shamans, pilgrims, deer, maize, scorpions, candles, fire, etc. See Symbolism used by the Huichols, by Angela Corelis.

The paintings vary from simple, visually vibrant representations to extremely complex depictions with stories, usually including archetypal iconography. According to other sources and our own Erowid research (2016 unpublished), it's not uncommon for some artists to ingest homeopathic or light doses of dried peyote while creating the painstakingly time-consuming art. Modern Huichol artists sometimes work together in small groups either in their home town or at a Huichol-artist studio in a more urban area.

The skill of the artists is apparent in how tightly the yarn is laid into the piece, the visual impact of the designs, and how well an iconographic story is told. The colors are stylistic and based on the vision of the individual artists. With the exception of peyote, few iconographic elements are consistently or realistically colored. Peyote is usually green as are maize (corn) leaves. Fire and candlelight are generally yellow-to-red.

An example of a relatively simple Huichol yarn painting is this piece, purchased by Erowid Center in March 2018. It has a central peyote button with iconic flower in the center with snakes and deer antlers surrounding it.

By zooming in and looking closely at the art you can see that it is very precisely hand-laid yarn. Unless otherwise specified, the art pieces we offer are extremely well done and precise.