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WHAT ARE THE EYES OF GOD

QUE SON LOS OJOS DE DIOS

God's eyes

The Tsikuri or eye of God consists of a rhombus made of yarn whose structure is made of two small crossed rods, each rhombus symbolizing a year of protection. Studies on yarn paintings almost always address their iconography. However, they also carry symbolism as textile pieces. The cosmogonic mythology of the Great Nayar tells that the world is a fabric made with the hair of the primordial goddess. This divinity, equivalent to the Spider Woman, wove it in the shape of a diamond (tsikuri), and her children danced mitote on it to widen it. In fact, all mitote-type dances can be interpreted as updates to this myth. The backstrap looms used by the Huichol weavers are, in this context, models of the sacred landscape, organized around two axes, the solstitial and the equinoctial: the warp threads represent the pilgrimage path that leads from the place of origin in the west, the Pacific Ocean, to the place of dawn, the Wirikuta desert, in the east. The threads of the plot, apparently, are related to the annual north-south movement made by the daytime star.

In this context, we can also explain the importance of wax. According to myth, the first mitote singer was Tsitsikame, the Bee Person. Upon being killed by his envious brother-in-law, the Heron Person, his eyes turned into the first bees (xiete). Other parts of its body became the favorite plants of these insects, while the sound of its musical bow lives on in the hum of the diligent honey producers.

Why do the Wixarikas use so much yarn and beads in ritual art and crafts? Why are these applications glued on with wax? And what is "mitote"?

When the initiation of newborn children is celebrated, the pilgrimage path is symbolized, along the festive patio, with a thread that connects the singer's drum, seated in the center, with the altar located to the east, which represents the Hill of Dawn. The children identify themselves with the cotton flakes and run the thread according to the narration of the singer, who describes in detail each one of the places through which they must pass towards dawn.

Pilgrimage routes are also represented with threads or ropes in other contexts. The same jicareros of the ceremonial centers (tukipa) use a rope with knots that symbolize the seasons of the trip to Wirikuta. On the other hand, the term that the Huichols use to refer to their cosmogonic myths is kawitu, "the path of the caterpillar" (kawi), which guides the pilgrims. At the end of the path, the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, just as initiates become initiates. Among these, those who best know the myths and the pilgrimage routes are the kawiterutsixi. Singing kawitu is equivalent to walking on the pilgrimage routes, practicing cosmogonic self-sacrifice, that is, creating the world. Therefore, it can be thought of as a fabric (a warp) of ritual texts. If we take into account that the scenes represented in the Huichol tables are episodes of the kawitus, we can appreciate that in Huichol art the threads (ropes) are routes and myths, and the world is like a fabric. Thus, it is not a coincidence that these pieces are made precisely with yarn.

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