Maize Peyote Duality

Handmade Mexico Huichol Nierika Peyute & Corn Beadwork

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SKU: 404171
Green stalks of corn reach skyward to cradle a radiant peyote bud in this elegant nierika, or votive beadwork 'painting' by Kupihaute. A butterfly alights on either side in his composition, which takes the shape of a flower with five wide petals.

The artisan, who writes fluently in the Huichol, Nahuatl, Spanish and English languages, talks about this work in his own words. 'The duality of maize-peyote is the basic duality of the nierika/mirror, since one is the reflection of the other and one cannot be more different from the other. The maize cannot disseminate its own seeds without our maneuver, and naturally depends on water. The peyote is a cactus that disseminates its own seed byway of the natural elements, and nevertheless, the creation of the maize plant is just impossible without the peyote cactus.

'The maize plant was developed genetically by the Wixarika/Huichol people thousands years ago from a kind of grass called teozintle in the Mexika language, precisely because of the wisdom provided by the peyote cactus. And also, thanks to the peyote cactus, the cultivation of corn was kept in our genetic memory despite its cultivation having been prohibited for many years during the colonization of Mexico. Also, virtually every story and myth about corn attributes energy and fertility to it and describes the plant as a reciprocating relative who nurtures us in return for us nourishing it. Nowadays the maize is the basic food, giving energy to the people all over the eARTh.' The artist has created the word 'eARThiness' to emphasize the word 'art' found inside 'earth.' 'For me, this eARThiness is very important and meaningful.'

The intricate images are formed with tiny seed beads. Kupihuate patiently places them one at a time with a needle made of abalone shell onto a huanacaxtle wood backing. Beeswax is used instead of glue.

The process is totally spontaneous, with no previous sketch or design. It is guided by the artist's unconscious to tell the stories that remain in our collective ancestral memory. He signs his work with the symbol of a butterfly on the reverse side of the nierika.
  • Beadwork on huanacaxtle wood
  • Hand-crafted item -- color, size and/or motif may vary slightly
  • Keep out of heat
  • Keep out of the sun
  • Signed by the artist
  • 0.35 lbs
  • 0.8 inches H x 5 inches Diam.
  • Made in Mexico