Size: 130x200cm; 4.2x6.5ft
Master weaver: Mario Bautista Martínez
Materials and methods.
Design patterns and symbols, meanings.
This pattern is a fractal symbol that teaches us about the perception state that nahuales (shamans) achieve when they unite their nahual perception in the spirit world with the day to day perception in the tonal world of language, logic and mathematics. The nahual pattern is obtained by uniting the hands in a fist shape with the thumbs joined in the middle, just like a mudra. This pattern also looks like the spiral of the Fibonacci series, the golden ratio that is found everywhere in nature, from our fists to the growth of plants and the formation of clouds and galaxies. This inner spiral represents the inner journey of self discovery that we have to embark to find our true face and true heart. We call this symbol in our language "Gareak Guiea", literally the flowered greek key symbol. Archeologist named this patterns Grecas in Spanish language because they noted the similarity with greek patterns and symbols. This naming of the pattern denotes the Eurocentric approach to the understanding of our native ancient cultures.
When I talk about the Nahual pattern I like to illustrate the pattern with the life path of Maria Sabina, a world renowned healer from Huatla de Jimenez that used the sacred mushroom to heal people in her village. It took her a life time to reach the status of a healer; when she was a young child her parents died and because she was very poor she and her sister would forage edible wild plants in the forest to feed themselves; that led her to her first encounter with the sacred healing mushrooms. Her life pattern lead her to walk the path of the warrior to bring the best of her spirit and flower in the world. When she was an accomplished healer she could transition easily from the Nahual perception (spirit world) to the day to day world; in the spirit world she would communicate with her patients to find out the source of their illness (emotional trauma, dark spirit, viral infection...etc) and then come back to the tonal world (day to day language world) to administer healing with the precise amounts of plants and rituals needed for healing. Most ancient governors in our culture were Nahuales, healers, seers; people in pursuit of knowledge. It was during the colonial times that the word nahual got transgressed into a negative connotations describing evil shape shifters that cause damage and illness by transforming into scary animals.
The diamond pattern represents the medicine of the snake. Snakes are the elders of the planet and hold the ancient knowledge, medicine and power. In our language, the word for sister is Bealaā, my snake. Xiguie'a was founded at the edge of an ancient lake formed during the last glaciar melt of the ice age and people here specilized in stone tool making. After the conditions changed, people in the central valleys of nowadays Oaxaca also played an important role in developing the corn that now feeds the world. Our villages have produced talented artists, healers, and visionaries for the world but more thatn than, many healthy communities that preserve the land and the balance needed for life on earth in each territory that they inhabit.