Huichol yarn painting by
Anonymous Huichol Artist
Nayarit, Mexico, c. 1970
Yarn pressed into beeswax on plywood
(24" x 24")
The extensive description on the back (translated into English) reads as follows:
"The two figures in the form of a scorpion on the upper right side indicate, according to the Huichol who made the painting, the thinking and the determination that this man had taken: suicide. They indicate the evil that took root and blinded the man to propel him to suicide. They indicate the black obsession that was growing and was closing all the gaps to light and to reason. Evil is a poison that is killing slowly.
The two figures that are between the man and the tree are a cornfield and a pumpkin. When the man decided to commit suicide he also decided to leave his cornfield already sown. The corn and pumpkins were left at the mercy of crows and badgers, squirrels and coyotes. The man no longer lit a fire in the cornfield or shouted to hear his echo in the ravine.
The two vertical stripes that are on the head of the dead body indicate that life has left the body. The other figure with the three points below is the heart with dropsof blood. The figure in the shape of a cross next to the feet is the soul, his itari. The vital body parts separated from the body indicate death. And finally, a tall and strong tree, a taut string, a rigid body and a black horizon without air."