Saturday, May 21, 2011

Huichol lightning towels

When I got the January/February 2011 Handwoven magazine in the mail, I saw the article on the Huichol (pronounced WEE-CHOL) lightning towels on page 56 by Connie Childs Elliott and couldn't wait to make them!  I haven't officially chosen my colors yet, but I always love blue and have plenty of it!  Plus, blue could be the sky and the rain, and the white can be the lightning bolt.  I was thinking of maybe doing yellow, but I think it might look too "sports team-ish" if I do that.  I know 3 schools right off hand that have blue and yellow for their school colors.  So.... I might stick with blue and white instead.



I was reading about how important weaving is to the Huichol people.  In fact, the Huichol culture believes that weaving is a way that women can communicate with the gods.  They believe that the top of the loom is the sky and the bottom is the earth.  The unwoven warp threads are the sun.  When woven, the sheds are the winds that carry the rain clouds to the Sierra Madres.  And the weaver is making it rain when the shed is beaten into the warp.  In this paticular project, the author talks about how the front is the zigzags of lightning and the back is the straight lines of rain coming down during the storm.  The spindle used to make the yarn is the heart of the sun.  I think that's pretty cool!