21 Huichol Yarns by Jose Benitez Sanchez ~ (Exception #18) ~ 32 x 48  

Phone 320-224-6603 for purchasing details 
January Hold on #6, #8 and 18
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Translations from the reverse sides (All have Spanish text descriptions, and a few have been translated here):  

JS16-93 #1 ~ Kauyumarie Before and After His Dismemberment Jose Benitez Sanchez

~ Kauyumarie, the ancestor spirit of the Deer, is the unifier of the spirits of nature and the creator of religious cult.  When he was on Earth, he appeared in flesh as both a man (left) and as a deer (center).  Upon his death, the various parts of his body changed into different objects and fruits.  

As a deer, he contains the "hearts" of Fire, Sun, Dawn and himself (the four flowers on his body). Likewise, his ribs (the five bars at far right) each correspond to one of the principal deities including Earth, for in Kauyumarie being all the spirits unite. His breath (above his ribs) consists of hot waves--where again Fire is embodied, leaving the warmth of his body.  The dots within his breath are his words, which are also the speech of all the spirits. From his head emanate the thoughts that he had in his lifetime that are his memory of what he undertook to found the world.    

He carries three prayer bowls on his back for himself, Fire and Sun (above).  These are the offerings which a hunter should prepare if he is to have luck hunting deer, for 

Kauyumarie offers the flesh of his deer being to mankind, though it first must be cooked and offered to the spirits before it is consumed.  Little gourd bowls, which come from the sockets of Kauyumariets eyes, appear between his person and his deer being, and are used for serving his meat and broth.  The form above is Kauyumariets human flesh, which is not to be eaten. Five dots below his hands are his instructions on the hunting and eating of deer.  

Then Kauyumarie's deer body is dismembered and its parts dispersed and transformed.  

Below the deer's tail is his flesh, which becomes sweet and spine- less fruits.  His two hind legs (black) and the cartilage of the joints (six small ovals) are seen beside his chest next to his hip joint (pink figure).  His digestive tract (with light green gulps of air) is below his cranium and next to his spine.  The insect-like figure is his spleen.  In the rust area are his forelegs, loins and antlers: the latter were his feathered arrows of speech in life.  His heart, liver and lungs appear connected to his wind pipe (with its five olive-green dots).  His jaw bones are the two figures to the left of his heart.  

Kauyumarie's eyes become various types of plums hanging from pink vines.  His tailbone rests near a vine.  An arrow issues from his loins and his strength transforms into a bow.  His testicles (two spheroids) become small calabash gourds for carrying wild tobacco and his penis becomes a whistle. His footprints and the joints of his toes (two black dots) become fish in the spring of fresh water (top left).  His tongue and lips (white figure) are beside four olive-green drops of saliva. 

Below his body are two blades of a grass called wiwaatsira, which is used to purify the soul.  Along the top border, five sets of antlers that were shed by Kauyumaroe outline the hills where he rested, ate and played, Pochote trees, which bear silk-cotton, and other plants favored by the deer appear on the hills from the velvet of his antlers.   

Above the antlers of his being as a man.  His soul emanates as it is in his sleep, joined outside his body into its four components; what we see in our mind, our thoughts-memories, our vital force and our spirit-soul.  In his awakened state as a man, Kauyumarie has his senses and soul linked to his head (as two white spheres).
JS9-93 ~ The Creation Of Salt  ~  Jose Benitez Sanchez

Tacutsi Nakawe, Mother of the Gods, went to the ocean side to prepare to die.  She pulled out her bones (upper left) which she ground with a stone and she became salt mixed with earth.  She ground the teeth of her jaws and they turned to pure salt, which she sprinkled on the sea.  Watakame (far-left) watches in awe the transformation of her bones and teeth to salt.  When Tacutsi, with black wing-like extensions, stepped into the Sea (lower left margin) a large wave rose along the coastline (wavy blue line in center). Here, Tamatsi Maxayuavi, the Blue Deer, was born.  Another blue wave arose along the entrance to Wirikuta, Land of the Gods (far right) where the peyote cactus dwells.  Here, at Tatei Matineri, the sacred waterhole at the gates of this sacred land, the god Peyote (four green dots in a circle) sits on his multi-colored altar (extending from left to right corner) guarded by Tamsi Maxakuaxi, Elder brother Deer Tail (inverted deer).  An izote tree, similar to the yucca.  The god of Peyote forbids pilgrims to eat any salt on their journey from the coast to Wirikuta.  If he is to communicate with Peyote, the pilgrim must hold to his fast.  From his altar, Peyote speaks with the Ocean, assisted on the coast by the Blue Deer and in the desert by Elder Brother Deer Tail.  The sacred deer investigate the pilgrims.  Those who have broken their fast are punished

JS51-93 ~ The Deer Offer Themselves in Sacrifice like Sheep Jose Benitez Sanchez

We read on the back that this is the deer who is returning from his journey to Wirikuta for the first time, bringing or taking sacred water from wirikuta, which is the desert where the peyote is found in the east, taking sacred water from there, he was sent by mandatario, one who is ordering him, which is, our mother of peyote, and the deer obeyed, from wirikuta to the ocean, which in huichol would be hararama, to take the sacred water, and when he reached the ocean, someone asked him where are you coming from, he answered, them, he answered in plural, I am coming from very far away and I was sent to take sacred water, and these men were holding a ceremony for the children, which was an offering to wirikuta, which was a ceremony held as an offering to wirikuta, but the shamen said to the men, you must take them personally to wirikuta, otherwise they will get ill, and later the fathers of the children remained thinking, but we do not know the path to wirikuta, and for this reason when the deer descended to take the sacred water, these men asked him for help, they said to him, since you are coming from there, will you do us a favor, by taking our family to wirikuta, and the deer answered, right now I will request wericayuave, which means the blue eagle, to advise wirikuta so as to see if I can take them since you need to do this for the sake of your life, this is why children are introduced to Wirikuta through the wind, but the one who opens the paths and who is the interpreter of the primary ancesters, is the deer, jaicuyuawi he says, and the doe, and yuawi means blue, but as I remember jaicu means a serpent, jai means a cloud, so we get a sense of what it means, We can see in the yarn painting that we have our elder brother, fawn of the sun, Kauyumarie, standing on the end of a trail and addressing the blue eagle, on the left side of the yarn painting, and we can see a male deer, who has between his antlers the figure of a child, probably with rattles dangling from his waist, the antlers have little round figures or balls that represent the cotton tufts that are placed on a string to symbolize the spirit of the children who are going on a journey, in the wind, in their thoughts to the land of peyote, to the land of wirikuta, and since this is a ceremony for the children, it is the ceremony of the first fruits, and we see a three legged drum on the upper right and beneath it is a prayer mat that is offered as part of the alter to our mothers, in particular during this ceremony, and beneath the deer tail on the bottom right is jaicuyuawi the serpent figure, who represents the clouds of rain that have enabled the fields to bear fruit, to bear the corn and the beans and the squash and the amaranth, and behind the tail of the serpent, in front of the male deers head we see the doe, who is atop a nierika, that is a disc, the round figure that is a disc, in which the forms or figures of our sacred ancestors may be seen by the shamen, where the shamen may see what is requested by the ancestors, and right at its center is the figure of a flower which represents the life of the children, in this case the life that must be sanctified by taking the children, at first by introducing the children thru the chants in the first fruits ceremonies, and later in person to the land of the peyote in the east, but here we are, as we have heard, in the west, we are in the realm of our ocean, in the realm of our mothers the sources of rains, and finally from the back wing of our mother who is the blue eagle we have a trail that is leading to the east, she is asking wirikuta whether the children might be taken on the path by Kauyumarie, or if they can not be taken at this point. The drum on the upper right, that is the temple that represents the three legged drum that is used in the first fruits ceremony when the huichol give thanks , and under it is the itari or the prayer mat, it is a symbol of the alter that is presented in this ceremony to the mothers, and the path on the left that is the path that Kauyumarie has followed and that he is at that moment ascending on to speak with the eagle. The blue background symbolizes the realm of the ocean.

(Balance of translations left off for time and space.  Greg M.)

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