Higinio Hernandez and

"Hello! I'm Higinio and I was born in the Jalisco mountains. I have followed my family tradition of making beaded artwork, but I like using bright colors in my designs. My works are different from the traditional beadwork from my homeland, and I use contrasting colors on spherical and oval-shaped figures.

"I make my masks over papier-mâché figures and my wife and I place the beads one-by-one. The designs are completely improvised and are inspired by our reflections and feelings at the moment that we're making the pieces.

"I'd spent several months trying to sell my works in local markets, but I finally found with a way to get the world to know my pieces. I hope that you enjoy my works as much as I enjoy making them. I hope that through them you will get a better understanding of the magic and meaning of the Huichol culture."

Español: "¡Hola! Soy Higinio. Nací en la Sierra de Jalisco y me gusta usar mucho color en mis diseños. En particular mis obras son menos tradicionales y uso colores contrastantes en figuras de esferas y ovaladas.

"Me gusta la chaquira brillante y en colores fuertes; para mi el uso de los colores es la clave de mis trabajos. Mis mascaras las hago sobre figuras de papel mache y mi esposa y yo nos dedicamos a poner la chaquira una por una sobre las figuras. El trabajo que realizamos es completamente improvisado y se inspira en nuestras reflexiones y sentimientos en el momento que estamos haciendo las piezas.

"Llevaba varios meses tratando de vender mis piezas en mercados locales, pero finalmente he encontrado con una manera de dar a conocer mis piezas al mundo. Espero que mis artesanías les agrade tanto como a mí hacerlas y así conozcan un poco de la magia y significado que tiene la cultura Huichol."

Blue Corn Mask
'Blue Corn'
Beaded mask by Higinio Hernandez, 13.8 in x 13 in
Made in Mexico

With a patience characteristic of the Huichol people, the hands of Higinio Hernandez have transformed tiny chaquira beads into beautiful and glossy motifs adhered to a papier-mâché base. The result is a veritable explosion of color, replete with symbols sacred to the Huichol culture. A must for lovers of the truly rich culture of Mexico.

Huichol art is a literal, physical translation of imagery seen during their expanded state of awareness, induced by their sacred cactus. This art is a tangible manifestation of their experience in the realm of the gods for each of us to see, touch, and commune with, becoming vehicles for our own contemplation and transformation. Their life is guided by a pre-Columbian shamanic tradition attached to ceremonies already performed in their remote past. The "jícuri" (peyote) is the centerpiece of this ritualism, revered for its curative properties and its ability to "enlighten" he who partakes of it.

Descendants of the first Aztec groups migrating from the North, the Huichols, or Wixalika (word for prophets or healers) as they call themselves, live in the mountain region of Sinaloa and Jalisco. Having withstood the Spanish invasion, they are still striving to keep their culture alive.

Care instructions: The tiny "chaquira" beads are affixed to a papier maché base using Campeche beeswax, rather than glue. We recommend that items be placed far away from heat sources, which may cause the wax to melt and the beads to work loose. Also, do not place under direct light, as the wax may become too dry.

The piece featured on this page, Blue Corn mask, has been sold.

More art by Higinio Hernandez.

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