Look at this colorful jaguar decorated with tiny beads. Can you imagine how long it took to make? The Huichol are a group of people that live in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain region of Mexico and have a unique tradition of adorning objects with brightly colored beads. Many creations resemble people, traditional symbols and animals. The colorful designs are made by pressing beads into softened beeswax. One specific use of the beads is to decorate ceremonial bowls made from gourds. These bowls, called "chaquira," are given as special offerings to the Huichol gods. Each design is called a "mandala" and signifies a vision of another dimension. It is believed that the jaguar has special powers and visions at night and extreme courage during the daytime.
The Children's Museum of Indianapolis
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Folklore -- Mexico
Huichol Indians -- Religion
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