Ancient Meso-American art was considered the road to authentic reality. Society believed artisans were destined by the stars to create. Over the centuries individual craft became especially potent expressions of the artist’s countenance and heart.

The Spaniards arrived in Mexico in the 16th Century, their ships carrying barrels of decorative glass beads as ballast. They were used as trade currency along the route from the coastal port of Vera Cruz to the very center of the Aztec empire, Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City. These trade beads helped Cortez create an alliance with the indigenous people, and were eventually dispersed throughout Mexico, as the Spanish continued their conquest.

Today’s Huichol indigenous people, who proudly craft our collection, inhabit mostly the mountainous areas of the states of Jalisco and Nayarit, in north central Mexico. All aspects of their creative process, from materials to colors to designs, have strong cultural significance. Their identification with particular gods and ritual meanings of the ancient Huichol spiritual world in their daily life continue today.

Their beadwork designs, such as the deer, pine tree or whirlwind can be associated with the Huichol deity, Tamat’s Kauyumari, who shaped their world. The zigzag lines that emanate from all living things represent communication with the deities. The butterfly motif is reminiscent of the Itzpapolotl or Obsidian Butterfly, a principal deity of the classical Aztec motifs.

This hand-beaded collection is composed of necklaces, chokers, bracelets, earrings and a small bag.

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