Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Huichol and Mata Ortiz Ornaments

The Heard Museum shops carries a select number of Huichol and Mata Ortiz art. This year Huichol artisans have created bead covered bell ornaments. These ornaments, known as Corazon de Vida "Heart of Life", are traditional emblems of prosperity and health for the household. The embroidered figure represents children. The small folded cardboard pieces represent sandals, signifying a yearly sacred pilgrimage that the Huichol make to a place called Wirikuta ("field of flowers"). The beadwork over the bell represents images from Huichol religion. Tradition states that you tie a new ribbon on the bell each year to renew the prayer.

Huichol "Corazon de Vida" ornament

Huichol "Corazon de Vida" ornaments in large, medium and small

The Huichol Indians live in a remote area of the Sierra Madre mountains of central-western Mexico. They are unique in that they have maintained their ancient religion and traditions in the face of Spanish conquest and conversion. Much of their pan-theistic religion is reflected in their artwork, whether it is in their beaded work, yarn paintings or embroidery. Most often represented are the deer (god of fertility and brother to the Peyote); the Peyote (god of knowledge and the center of their religion); the Eagle (god of life); the Snake (used in prayers for rain); "flower" motifs (appearing in many forms, often depicting the sacred Peyote or the corn flower); and Scorpions (considered to be small messengers from the gods). 

The bell is made with a gourd over which glass seed beads are adhered one at a time with a mixture of wax and pine pitch.  Amazing.

We have small, medium and large bells and each one is completely unique and beautiful. This item makes a lovely addition to the home and a great gift for that special someone you would wish health and prosperity.

Our Mata Ortiz ornaments are made by Rosy Mora. Mata Ortiz is not a tribal affiliation but a town in the area of the the northern province of Chihuahua where the native people have revived a pottery tradition that dates back to the pre-Columbian era. This tradition was long extinct in the region until the 1970's when villager Juan Quezada was inspired by the ancient pot shards that littered the area to embark on a quest to decipher the techniques used by these ancient artists. Through trial and error he developed a new, contemporary style of pottery utilitzing ancient techniques. Mata Ortiz pottery is still hand formed without the use of the wheel. It is decorated with natural pigments and fired in the ground. Decorations range from complex geometric to ancient Mimbres designs.


Mata Ortiz ornaments by Rosy Mora

We will not have these items in our online shop. If you would like us to include one in your online order, just give us a call at 602-346-8190 and we can add them to your order.

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