I first came across Huichol bead art when I saw this amazing fully beaded VW Beetle car and later, the beaded skulls. The Huichol are indigenous people who live in the Sierra Madre mountain range of both Mexico and the US. 

The Mexican owners of Aramara, Elias Lopez and his sister, Yunuen, have Huichol roots. They both have day jobs as a lawyer and an accountant. But in their spare time, they design and create colorful Huichol jewelry, some accessories as well as art works - some are digital. 

Elias explains :

The Huichol represent one of the few remaining indigenous cultures left in Mexico. They live in self-imposed isolation, having chosen long ago to make their home high in the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental, in Western Central Mexico. Huichol Art dates back millenia. 

During spiritual rituals the shaman (know as marakame) have visions which are then transcribed into carvings, yarn art, bead art, pottery etc. Each image has spiritual meaning. The huichol tribe uses many symbols as representations of their deities and other things they deem sacred in their culture. Most common ones are the peyote, the deer and the snake.
What is striking with Huichol bead art is the use of bold colors and patterns. They don't use really small beads like the 15/0 either. They use mainly 11/0 beads, 13/0 on occasion.

Elias says they haven't really ventured into tutorial designs yet as he says their English is not quite up to scratch. But admirers can certainly purchase their highly competitively priced and gorgeous beadwork.

Watch this short video on the Huichols by Henry Lewis. It shows how the artisans create their beaded sculptures.

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM