Weaver: Marį Guíîn
Size: 216x303cm; 85x119.5in; 7x10ft
Weight: 7.7kg Threads per Inch: 7
Materials: fine merino wool worsted and dyed with Cochineal, Tagetes Lucida and Xiuhquilitl.
The colors in this rug are the primary colors that we use in our natural dye repertoire to derive many of the other colors we use in our rugs. This essential colors are the basic colors of the sunrise and the sunset and the colors that pigment the feathers of the Scarlet Macaw. The blue colors were dyed with our native indigo (Xiuhquilitl), indigo has been used in our continent since about 6000 years ago, as evidenced by a mummy's textile preserved in Perú. The yellow is dyed with Yauhtli (Tagetes Lucida, Pericón or Mexican tarragon) this flower is used medicinally to treat stomach aches and ritually to induce powerful visions. The red comes from Beé (cochineal) a domesticated bug that grows in the prickle pear cactus that transformed the politic and economic situation of sixteenth century Europe by producing a superb red dye that could last more than 500 years on Textiles. Using these three essential dye colors we could replicate the colors of the sunrise and the sunset. You can dye yarn with Yauhtli and overdye it with cochineal to get shades of orange to pale Mamey Zapote colors. With cochineal we can get all the shades or burgundy, red, scarlet, purples and pinks. The indigo can be dark night sky blue to light dawn blue to midday nitid blue. The boldness of these colors are the colors of the trees that hold the sky above our heads, the east has a red color, the north white, the west black and the south yellow; in the middle there is a green tree of life that unifies the four directions of the Universe.
The bird and the snake are very ancient symbols that illustrate a deep understanding of the forces of life that make our existence possible in this earthly plane of the four directions. There are nine levels of reality above our head and nine below our feet thus each plane in the design has thirteen steps to make a pyramid above and below (9+4=13). 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. The Serpent constellation is located in the south plane and given its relation to the tilt of the milky way in the night sky our seers would make predictions about the rain patterns and the future of our people.
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 woven in the middle of the Diamond is obtained by uniting the hands in a fist shape with the thumbs joined in the middle, just like a mudra. Can you see it? 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 so because she was very poor she and her sister would forage edible wild plants in the forest to feed themselves. 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 and then come back to the tonal world (day to day language world) to administer the healing with the precise amounts of plants and rituals needed for healing. Most ancient governors in our culture were Nahuales, healers, seers and great man and woman full if knowledge. It was during the colonial times that the word nahual got transgressed into a negative connotations describing evil people that cause damage and illness by transforming into scary animals.
It is through the language of weaving that the ancient teachings got preserved and they still help us continually analyse our existence trapped where the sky and the underworld kiss each other. These timeless patterns and symbols are built into our bodies, into the growth of plants and the formation of galaxies, they remind us of our cosmic origin and the awareness that we are pure energy always transforming never stagnant. The universe that creates itself to know itself. It is believed that the ancient Nahuales would know exactly when they were going to die, they were probably in such good tune with their bodies or were willing to give up their lives for a bigger cause that for them death was just another stage of the process of life. The Nahual spirits like enlightened spirits, is believed to return to the sun, depicted as the Quincunce (five pointed cross) inside the diamond, this little diamond also represents the journey of the sun in each point: sunrise, midday, sunset, underworld journey and rebirth in a new sunrise. The middle red dot represents the balance of the four directions, when there is balance there is light and clarity in our life. All the ancient teachings could be summarised in the rule that summons us to live a life in balance.