traditionally, Huichol art is made for the gods.
while reading Huichol Art and Culture: Balancing the World in the studio today, i came across a passage that addresses the dual role that art plays in Huichol society today.
C. Jill Grady writes:
“The economic benefits of producing Huichol art for sale outside the Sierra contribute to the acquisition of materials and goods for ceremonies, pilgrimages, and the ongoing production of sacred offerings inside the Sierra. Sacred art guarantees that the gods are content so the world stays balanced and keeps going. Outside art augments that balance, yet, Huichol know that only the gods can bestow prosperity. One especially positive result of this dual system of art production is that cash-poor Huichol no longer feel compromised by economic pressures to sell their sacred objects for survival. Outside art provides resources to help sustain the creation of their sacred art. Both art forms simultaneously work to insulate the culture. By creating a separate art for sale, the Huichol people have elegantly mediated the risks associated with compromising their traditional and historical cultural experience. In this way, they are continuing to choose when and how to interact with the outside dominant society on their own terms. They remain firm in their commitment to maintain balance in the world, while adapting to change over time and space.”
i'm headed back on a short trip to the Sierra Madre mountains in a few weeks to visit the Huichol people. in the meantime i too am working on "adapting to change over time and space."