assorted processes and techniques
string painting
• The Huichol Indians preHispanic culture still survives in
the remote Sierra Madres ranges.
• They believe themselves to be
that part of creation which
entertains the Gods.
• Called "nierikas", or mirror
images of God, these art pieces
are creative manifestations
embodying the Huichol belief
that we all make our own
some student work...
(also called Chaquira)
The typical Huichol method of bead application was
to cover the material to be decorated in soft wax and
press the beads into the wax (define mastic).
Native North
American Peoples
• While Chaquira is a
relatively new form of folk
art, beading has a long and
honored tradition among
Native Peoples in North
• The technique first used
porcupine quills and later
moved to beads – however
the basic form and concepts
were preserved.
Prior to the introduction of glass trade beads (known as seed beads),
Native peoples used porcupine quills to decorate surfaces in a
technique that had all the characteristics of a mosaic design process.
Beads were sewn on in short rows that created or duplicated
the look of the linear porcupine quill.
Native peoples still use beading as a major form of
artistic expression – now using beading to decorate not
only traditional materials but contemporary ones as well.
Probably the best known Native American form of beading is
what is known as “wampum”.
Wampum is actually small rod shaped beads hand carved and
drilled from the shells of fresh water clams.
Five Nations wampum belt
Hidden holes vs. visible holes?
The Huichol kept the holes in the beads visible to act as part of the
Native Americans kept the holes hidden – partly to reproduce the look of
quills, but also because there beading was hand sewn on instead of
applied with a mastic.
Related art forms…
Haitian bead bottles
Haitian sequin Voodoo flag
• Drapo Vodou or "Voodoo Flag"s
derive directly from the practice of
the Vodou religion.
• The banners are traditionally the
work of practicing vodou priests
and their followers.
• Each flag depicts the vévé symbol
or image of the loa to which it is
• The flags are made of shiny silk
fabrics to which have been sewn a
brilliant mosaic of sequins and
beads. A full-size banner typically
contains 18,000 to 20,000 sequins
and may take ten days to complete.
• While the origins of this ritual art
form have been traced back several
hundred years, to sources as
diverse as African textiles and
French regimental flags, the
present form of the vodou flag
may date to only the 1950’s.
• In the 1970’s and 1980’s,
following on the celebrated
“Haitian renaissance” in painting
and sculpture, the vodou banner
also came to the attention of
collectors and critics.
• Artists were able to sell directly to
tourists (until tourism essentially
ended in the mid-1980’s), and an
art market developed for flags as
The simplest way plan for a beading project, is to begin by
creating what is called a cartoon. A cartoon lays out the
colors, patterns and placements prior to having to glue
• Some
artists use
most simply
rely on plain
old graph