Join this month’s Family Workshop at the Hearst Museum!
Create your own Nierika, yarn painting, and learn about their fascinating history. This is a drop-in workshop for all ages. Bring the whole family for this activity included free with museum admission.
What is Nierika?
The nierika is represented among the Huichol Indians of northwestern Mexico as a focal point on which powerful beings concentrate their energy.
In the traditional Huichol ranchos, the nieli’ka or nierika is an important ritual artifact. Negrín states that one of the principal meanings of “nierika” is that of “a metaphysical vision, an aspect of a god or a collective ancestor,” and is the same term the Tepehuán people use to refer to deities.
Negrín quotes Lumholtz as stating that for the Huichol and Tepehuan “a nierika means a picture, an appearance, or a sacred representation.” The term nierika is etymologically rooted in the verb nieriya, “to see”. Nierika are found in Huichol and Tepehuans’ most sacred places: house shrines (xiriki), springs, caves and temples.
Some Natives of northwest Mexico and throughout the southwest U.S. have had visions during peyote ceremonies in which they received guidance from Gods who appeared before them in many shapes, though the eyes of the God were so intense and overwhelming that many Natives could only see the eye of the God. To show others the vision they had, they made the God’s eye – woven on sticks with handspun yarn, colored with various types of berries, flowers, and other materials to capture the essence of their vision.
Find out more about events at the Hearst Museum by going to hearstmuseum.berkeley.edu/events.