Huichol artbroadly groups the most traditional and most recent innovations in thefolk art and handcraftsproduced by theHuichol people, who live in the states ofJalisco,Durango,ZacatecasandNayaritin Mexico. The unifying factor of the work is the colorful decoration using symbols and designs which date back centuries. The most common and commercially successful products are "yarn paintings" and objects decorated with small commercially produced beads. Yarn paintings consist of commercial yarn pressed into boards coated with wax and resin and are derived from a ceremonial tablet called a neirika. The Huichol have a long history of beading, making the beads from clay, shells, corals, seeds and more and using them to make jewelry and to decorate bowls and other items. The "modern" beadwork usually consists of masks and wood sculptures covered in small, brightly colored commercial beads fastened with wax and resin.
While the materials have changed and the purpose of many of the items have changed from religious to commercial purposes, the designs have changed little, and many retain their religious and symbolic significance.