Member Monday Morning Program
Date(s) - 10/24/2016
10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Neo-Latino: Critical Mass Art Tour and Yarn Painting with light refreshments.
Huichol Nierikas (Yarn Paintings)
Until very recently, the Huichol (pronounced Wettchol) people of Mexico did not have a written language. Instead, they communicated their history through stories and symbols. This tradition is still strong for the Huichol and we can learn a lot about their beliefs by looking at their artwork.
Nierikas (pronounced Near-eeka) are traditional yarn paintings made by the Huichol people. Natural glue, made from tree resin and beeswax, is applied to a board, and yarn is pressed into it and left to harden. The designs and symbols on the Nierikas are based on their myths, stories and personal daily activities The yarn paintings portray the Huichol belief that people are connected to nature and all living things. The Huichols believe it is their duty to take care of the earth because they depend on it for survival.
Nierikas are not purely decorative objects: they are purposeful and very important to the Huichol people. These spiritual artworks are part of the rituals the Huichols participate in on a regular basis, and they begin learning them at a very young age. A Nierika is a device that allows a Huichol person to communicate with the spirit world. They symbols and rituals on them are a way of asking the gods to bring rain and sun to grow their crops. After creating them, the Nierikas are left in sacred places like temples, springs, and caves.
For this project you will be designing your own nierika. Your completed yarn painting will be symbolic of your experiences and beliefs.