Huichol Yarn Painting

I purchased this yarn ‘painting’ from Antonio, a Huichol artist in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico. Despite our difficulty in conversing – his English and my Spanish being poor – I understood that certain symbolic images appear in this work. I wrote down what I could understand of what Antonio told me about those images and have made my tentative translation of his words into a poem:

Wearing the mask of the sacred deer

The Healer dances ‘til dawn

Around the ceremonial fire.

We all dance ’til dawn

Around the fire.

Taking the meat of the sacred deer

The Healer feeds the people

And the gods

Around the ceremonial fire.

We all feed around the fire.

Before the dawn the Healer must

Perform the healing.

The Moon offers the Healer

The secret power of wisdom and dreams

To perform the healing,

And we are healed.

After the dawn the Healer must

Perform the cleansing.

The Sun offers the Healer

The secret power of heat and light.

And with eagle feathers

The Healer performs the cleansing,

And we are cleansed.

At noon the water god sends the Hummingbird.

The Hummingbird is the third blessing of the dance.

The Hummingbird brings laughter and children

And blesses the Healer,

And we are all blessed.

At sunset the Healer blesses the corn.

The blessing of the corn

Offers hope for a full harvest,

Offers hope for our health

And for our children’s health,

Offers full bellies for us all.

In this way we honour our gods,

In this way we honour our ancestors,

In this way we honour the earth,

In this way we honour ourselves.

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