Mexican Folk Art

June 8, 2008 at 3:20 pm 15 comments

Here’s another piece from our Mexican folk art collection. This is one of Mike’s favorites, he bought it for me from our favorite Mexican folk art store here in Dallas, Casa Mexicana. If you look closely, you’ll notice that this painting is created from yarn. Another Huichol masterpiece. Mike likes the whole psychedelic aspect of the painting. I am intrigued once again by the process, just as I am by the Huichol beaded work I wrote of recently. I love the imagery. The colors are fabulous and speak to my love of all things bright and bold. The yarn painting is 23″ x 23″ which is a standard size for this work. I just can’t imagine having the patience to apply the strands of yarn one by one to build the image. Huichol art never ceases to amaze me.

The back of the painting has a written description of the piece along with the artist’s signature. I don’t speak or read Spanish, if anyone can interpret this writing, I would appreciate it. The nice people at Casa Mexicana gave us a loose translation, but another interpretation would be welcomed. As always, click on the photo to see an enlargement of the photo.

According to the Historic Line Camp Gallery in Santa Fe website, Huichol yarn painting is a traditional artistic technique that is used for recording dreams, visions, myths, and the innermost personal prayers of the artists. Because the Huichol language is non-written, these story boards are used to express the beauty and wisdom of the ancient Huichol cultural tradition. Huichol artists can be thought of as modern day scribes.

The Huichols use smaller version of these paintings as offerings to the many gods and goddesses that reign over their isolated homeland in the Sierra Madre mountain range in Mexico. Indeed, yarn paintings originate from votive objects the Huichols create as ceremonial offerings. The small wax and yarn votive objects are made as prayers to depict the desires of the people and their families. After the ceremonies they are taken to far off sacred places and left for the gods and goddesses.

The larger paintings, made by Huichol artists for sale, utilize the same technique for placing strands of yarn onto a thin surface of beeswax mixed with pine resin that has been spread onto a wooden board. It is a meticulous and time consuming art form that may be a successor to the featherworking techniques of the Huichol ancestors, the Aztecs.

I was researching the Huichol yarn paintings and found quite a few sources on line. La Fuente Imports, Latin American Folk Art and Indigo Arts Gallery are a few of the more interesting sites for selections available to purchase. I stumbled upon the Dance Of The Deer Foundation, Center for Shamanic Studies which has a very interesting piece about the Huichols. Here’s the excerpt that I found most striking:

The Huichol Indians are a small tribe of approximately 15,000 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 of 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.


Entry filed under: art, Dallas, Mexican folk art. Tags: , , .

Plush Celebration Painting

15 Comments Add your own

  • 1. linda  |  July 6, 2008 at 9:02 am

    I’m trying to find a Huichol yarn painting for my home. Can you tell me how much you purchased yours for?

    • 2. Adrian Cuevas  |  November 28, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Hey you guys! My name is Adrian, a tourism student in Nayarit, México, home of the huichol ethnics.
      Contact me, my facebook page is and my email address: acf1705@hotmail,com, i could get you some good huichol art.

  • 3. phaskins  |  July 10, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    My husband gave the painting to me as a gift and I hate to ask how much he spent. Sorry.

  • 4. Kevin Simpson  |  August 23, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Hi, I don’t know if your still interested but I might be able to give you a better translation of the discription of what is written on the back of your yarn painting. This is not easy because we are translating from Wirarika to Spanish to English, some of the words like Cayumarie, Nierica and Iyari are Wirarika words that very few people know. The hardest artist to translate I would have to say is undoubtably Jose Benitez Sanches work!!

    This pieces says:
    “Real communication occurs between the peyoteros or pilgrams and their gods because our elder brother, Cayumarie, the invisible deer tells the pilgrams the words of the gods. Upon hearing the words of the gods the faces of the pilgrams change, the symbols of their ancestors appear in their dreams like screens inside their heads. There they can see the faces of the gods which are recorded not only in their memory but also in their souls. This process undoubtably brings one closer to the gods which is the spiritual essence of our lives and the way which we find our direction in the Huichol tradition

    my name is Kevin, I live in Puerto Vallarta and have a shop called Peyote People that specializes in Native Folk Art including the Huichol bead art and yarn paintings. I have a web site that is under repair but should be up and running in another week or so, or if anyone is interested in seeing things or the cost of anything fell free to email me at


  • 5. David Dolby  |  February 15, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Welcome To Fay Art Gallery from Huichol bead art and yarn paintings ,Tepetuan Yarn painting, Yaqui Indian Pascola dance mask, Day of the Dead folk art

  • 6. alan  |  June 24, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Hi, I love this picture, I love the story even more!

    Yes I do enjoy cosmic adventures! 😉

    If you have no objection I was gonna use this as a background on my twitter account.

    Is that ok with you?

    I have tweeted your blog address so if people like it, they can visit your blog!



    • 7. phaskins  |  June 24, 2009 at 7:11 pm

      Tweet on, Alan. You’re welcome to share this image with the world.

  • 8. More Mexican Folk Art « patti haskins  |  August 4, 2009 at 7:14 pm

    […] August 4, 2009 A few weeks ago, Mike and I wandered into a local resale/antique mini-mall type store to peruse a friend’s booth of records, cds, etc. Right next to his booth, I spied a multi-colored intriguing large wood panel with what looked to be yarn comprising the imagery. Like my Huichol yarn painting. […]

  • 9. bob  |  September 12, 2009 at 1:32 am

    this is gay and so are you

    • 10. phaskins  |  September 12, 2009 at 8:45 am

      thanks bob!

  • 11. kelly  |  November 15, 2009 at 10:34 am

    i just came pass this website when i was researching folk artists for my homework. ThIs Is SoO DuM! hu wud make a website for this, the pic aint even that nice to be honest! 😛

    • 12. phaskins  |  November 19, 2009 at 7:53 pm


    • 13. Celia  |  February 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      well its not the painting its the story be hind the painting. Jerk.

  • 14. Celia  |  February 28, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    wow this is amizing.

  • 15.  |  July 21, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Potomackcompany Auction this Saturday, July 26th with tremendous collection of valuable Mexican Folk Art. See on-line catalog at (begin with lot 1440).


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I crochet, sew, draw, paint, paper mache, embroider, shoot photos, play piano, sing and have a graphic artist full time job. But not all at the same time.
Headquartered in Dallas, TX.

Drop me a line.



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