Huichol artwork: masks

articles Culture & Arts

Robert Otey

The masks are like mirrors that reflect the patterns of face paintings worn during sacred ceremonies. The Huichol people understand themselves to be mirrors of the gods.

Corn plants beside the eyes and on the chin, the sun on each cheek, yellow eagles and white deer adorn this beaded Huichol mask

Mask in collection of Robert Otey. © Robert Otey, 1997
Mask in collection of Robert Otey. © Robert Otey, 1997

The Huichol people believe that the mirror reflects that which must be seen through in order to leave one’s grand sense of self-importance and enter the place the Huichol call the “original times,” before the separation of the whole into all its present forms: matter and ether, God and man and nature and the cosmos.

This beaded Huichol mask is slightly squared. Six-sided peyote buds adorn the cheeks just above golden deer. Yellow serpents flank the mouth.

Mask in collection of Robert Otey. © Robert Otey, 1997
Mask in collection of Robert Otey. © Robert Otey, 1997

The masks are not worn in ceremonies, they are used to record information abut their mythology and traditions that they learn through their ceremonies, visions and dreams.

Peyote glows on the chin and forehead while scorpions scuttle alongside the nose where a corn plant flourishes.

Mask in collection of Robert Otey. © Robert Otey, 1997
Mask in collection of Robert Otey. © Robert Otey, 1997

Editor’s note: Authentic Huichol art is available from Novica.com in association with National Geographic. Each piece is hand-crafted using traditional techniques, and many pieces are signed. A link is provided from every work of Huichol art to the bio of its creator.

Courtesy Robert Otey and adapted here from his Site with his kind permission.

Published or Updated on: May 1, 1997 by Robert Otey © 1997
Share This:
Tagged

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.