Size: 80x150cm; 2.6x5ft
Weaver: Nereo Gutierrez
Materials and methods: criollo sheep wool hand dyed with colorfast aniline dyes using an exhaustive method. Handwoven on a Zapotec style loom of the 16th century adapted from European styles. Woven using a 7 threads per inch reed.
Design, patterns and symbols.
This rug depicts the woven pattern for water in yellow (sun) and navy blue (water) color. We call steam Gubaà in Dixzaa language; the word is formed by the basic sound Guu, a word that is used for roots and as a prefix for words that express command as in Gubain (to awake), gulekchei (to save), gudau (to eat). The other sound is baà that is found in words like ba'à (grave) or in the word labàá (root). To command to awake we would say Gubaiín, the sound for steam is found in there. Steam is the union of fire and water and in that union of oposites, a third element awakens. We use steam for our temazacal healing where the four elements become harmonized to create steam for healing. An earth structure in the form of a little room chest high would be built to contain the steam to be used during healing. Fire and water will collided and be carried by the air in that eternal dance of the elements that can repair our bodies in the womb of the earth like our mothers carried us when we were developing our first organs.
The greek key like symbol with six steps represents the life cycle of a warrior in which each step represents 13 years of life, the curling of the patterns represents the inner journey to find one's true face and true heart. The journey is different to every individual but to name a few rites of passage one starts by learning how to grow food, to make a sacred hunt, to make a long pilgrimage, to use sacred plants, to master ones dreaming and to experience life and death situations. The spirital battle is to awaken ones spirit with flowers (beauty, art) and song (sacral music, chants).
There is a smile pattern in the cycle of the warrior to remind us that laughing and smiling is the source of ture medicine and our only "weapon" to face the challenges of life.
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