Beniguiea: river spirit people

Size: 73cm x 300cm; 2.4 x 6.5 ft

Master weaver: Mario Bautista Martínez

Materials and methods: criollo sheep wool hand dyed with natural dyes: Bèé (cochineal), Yagshi[i (seep willow), Yauhtli (Tagetes lucida), Pecan shells and Xiuhquilitl (indigo). Aniline dyes were used for the turquoise color. Handwoven on a Zapotec style loom of the 16th century adapted from European styles. Woven using a 7 threads per inch reed and wool rayon blend for warp. 

Design, patterns and symbols.
My dad wanted to weave this spirit rug depicting the river pattern woven with indigo and natural color yarn; we call Beniguiea, the shamans that have awakened, we say that their spirit has blossomed like a flower. It is believed that they are ethereal and inmortal, these people walk along river causes and have the power to teach, cure or even curse an individual depending on their own actions in life. Just 50 years ago when electricity and street lights were more uncommon, the stories of encounters with blossomed spirits was way more common because the darkness of the night allowed our perception to highten and our intuition to stay sharp, people also dreamed much better in those days too so the connection to the spirit world was much stronger. 
This design pattern represents the energy fields of life. Our ancestors understood that the reality is more than we can perceive with our senses, they discovered that we have an energy field around our physical body similar to the magnetic field of the earth described by modern day science. Our ancestors spoke about energy lines that weave together all living beings on earth, they knew how to read and understand those subtle energy flows that connect us to the spirit world. 
When one gets the shivers not for cold physical reasons but due to a psycological reason, something called an easthetic shiver, we are using those subtle ways of perceiving, this is what we call Repi Scha'à which translates as energy rise (as in electricity). One could feel aesthetic shivers when one deeply agrees with someone, when one realises and feels aligned with a collective goal, during ritual, while listening to music or when watching a film.  Before street lighting was deployed in our village, everyone relied on this way of perception much more than we do. Biologically we needed to be aware to puff up our hair and survive but this same mechanism was used to communicate collectively with all living beings when the dark of night reign or when language fails to serve us a the medium to communicate. 

Related Items