Ancestral Visions: Yarn Paintings of a Huichol Shaman
Opens August 24 – November 17, 2019
Ancestral Visions: Yarn Paintings of a Huichol Shamanis an exhibition of visionary yarn paintings by legendary Huichol shaman-artist José Benítez Sánchez. Opening August 24that the Witte Museum, these 31 visions — crafted not of paint but of yarn pressed into beeswax—are remarkable not only for their beauty and craftsmanship, but for their cultural significance.
The “paintings” emerge from otherworldly visions experienced by the shaman during the ritual consumption of sacred peyote. The collection of peyote requires an annual 300-mile pilgrimage to a desert in San Luis Potosi, known to the Huichol as the Wirikuta, sacred home to their ancestors. The art, which has become known throughout the world in the last few years, is a kind of artistic code, encapsulating the rich religious tradition of the Huichol peyote cult.
Ancestral Visions will bring together masterful yarn paintings from the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and artifacts from the Witte Museum Collection to reveal the spiritual and cultural world of the Huichol. Visitors will learn to make their own yarn paintings during a Super Saturday Family Day and Cocktails and Culture event in October to celebrate National Archaeology Month.