Mexican Huichol Beaded Mask with Sun, Deer & Peyote Sacred Symbols

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This beaded mask is an authentic piece of Mexican Huichol Art. It displays a smiling sun and two deer at the forehead, plus two peyote symbols at the cheeks and chin; all of them considered  sacred symbols by this important Mexican Indigenous group. The mask was carved in wood and then the beads were attached over a layer of bees wax with no previous pattern or design, only the Huichol artist intuition and knowledge. Huichol or Wirrarika Indigenous group live in the regions of Jalisco and Nayarit, Mexico. 


About Huichol Indigenous group

The Huichol Indians are a small tribe of approximately 15,000 people living in central Mexico near Ixtlan in the Sierra Madre Mountains. They are said to be the last tribe in North America to have maintained their pre-Columbian traditions. Huichol shamans and healers practice today as they have for generations. In part, their survival is due to the focus on their traditions.


They have no history of war. Rather than training for war, they train their hearts to open to the healing powers of love and to the celebrations of life through the seasons. Because of this, they are famous for their strong ceremonial tradition, rich mythology and incredible visionary artwork. Primarily an agricultural people, the Huichols are dependent upon corn, planting their fields along the steep slopes of their mountain homeland. Corn is life for the Huichol Indians. The yearly cycle of preparing the fields, planting, growing, and harvesting the corn is surrounded by religious ceremony, as is all of Huichol life.


Huichol life is a continuous cycle of ritual and devotional exercises designed to help them stay connected to the Ancient Ones-Tate Wari (Grandfather Fire), Takutsi Nakawey (Grandmother Growth), Kauyumari (our brother, the Deer Spirit), and Tatei Yurianaka (Mother Earth), among others. The Huichols say that during ceremony, they are inviting these spirits to come into the circle of life to be with them- to help empower them and their families, and to help the universe stay in balance.


Huichols use symbols, patterns, and colors that are definitive of their cosmology to make their boards. Huichol do have a language but none has been documented. In the past decade textbooks written in Huichol are now available for Huichol children attending schools. Still most continue to communicate their history and thoughts to future generations through the stories they tell and the symbols they leave behind, present in their crafts in pieces like this mask. Some of the most important images are deer, peyote cactus, corn, earth, sun, water, fire, and humans to name a few. Huichols create nierikas (beaded and yarn  boards) using a board on which they coat a mixture of tree resin and beeswax to glue on elaborately colored yarn or beads used to define their imagery. These objects are then left at sacred sites of the Huichol: caves, temples and springs. The imagery is based on their myths, stories, and personal activities of daily living.


HEIGHT 1 cm / .39 In. 
LENGHT 21.3 cm /  8.3 In.
WIDTH 13 cm / 5.11 In.
APROX. WEIGHT 144 gr / 5.05 Oz.
MADE OF Wood, bees wax & beads
REGION Jalisco & Nayarit, Mexico
ETHNIC GROUP Huichol / Wirrarika Indian
TECHNIQUE Each bead is attached with no previous design
SKU HA1606
CARE Avoid heat,