Wirikuta mieme

Wirikuta mieme - Huichol Art - Marakame

Mr. Angel Torres de la Cruz - Haiviya
Prof. Nicolasa Lopez Reza - Yulama

Technique: Painted with fine thread on wax on wood.

Dimensions: 120 x 120 cm.
Year of production: 2020

Acting by Johannes Neurath

This painting is in a round format, which could be understood as an emphasis on its nierika character, that is, “instrument for seeing”, “gift of seeing” or “initiative vision”. The composition is close to ceremonial nierikate. Those small tablets, almost always round, that are given as offerings to deities and sacred places. The color palette used is green and brown, which is not very typical for Wixárika art. It is a representation of a ritual space, like the patio of a party.

In the center we see a group of peyotes or hikuri (Lophophora williamsii). It is probably this detail that tells us that this is a scene that takes place in Wirikuta, the sacred desert in the state of San Luis Potosí where the hallucinogenic cactus grows.

A singing mara'akame leads the ceremony from anequipal-type shaman chair. He is located at the top of the table. This place probably corresponds to the West, because the Wixárika shaman always sits to the west of the altar and facing the East. On either side of the chanter we see rain clouds with the heads of people who are probably ancestors, as well as two eagles, two Gila monsters, two snakes, and a series of ritual objects, such as a candle and an arrow. Two eyes observe the entire scene from above.

From his chair the mara'akame dialogues with a series of ancestral beings. The fire is located in the lower part of the painting, which probably corresponds to the east. In the flames some beings can be seen. Apparently, it seeks to show the effect of peyote. When contemplating the fire, figures emerge. Here the llamas transform into a deer, a face or mask and two felines.

On both sides of the fire are ritual gourds containing corncobs, arrows, candles, eyes of god and other objects. Two snakes and two wolves watch over the gourds. Two singing deer emerge and jump from the gourds towards some cornfields indicated by corn plants. We can assume that the deer respond to the mara'akame or dialogue with him, as happens in the Wixárika ritual songs.

A circle of peyotes surrounds the entire composition, again alluding to the place that gives its name to the painting: Wirikuta.