Welcome back, kids, to another week of Kid’s Corner with me, Angelique!
This week we are traveling to Mexico…I invite you to learn a new craft called the Huichol Ojo de Dios or Huichol God’s Eye. The Huichol (a term given during the Spanish Invasion), who refer to themselves as Wirrárrica or Wirraritari (plural), are an Indigenous people who live throughout the Sierra Madre Occidental range that is part of various states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Zacatecas, and Durango in Mexico.
You may have seen or made one of these colorful creations at one time. The Huichol make them for a few different reasons; they are given to children when they are born as a means of protection or if they get ill, a prayer to their gods, a gift for someone, and as a piece of art that can be relatively easy for children to make. It is essentially a way for each Huichol artist to tell their stories and myths. The Ojo de Dios is made using colorful yarn wrapped around two sticks that eventually become a diamond shape. The five points represent the five cardinal directions; North, South, East, West and the center.
- Yarn- four different colors
- Two sticks or two Popsicle sticks
- Glue (optional)
Start by gluing two Popsicle sticks (or sticks you find outside) in the form of a plus or cross shape (+). While that is drying, pick out four different colors of yarn, or use what you find at home. If you do not have glue, you can attach sticks together by starting to wrap the yarn diagonally; eventually the sticks will be stable enough to start.
Choose your first color, wrap over and around one stick, and then continue diagonally until you have gone around each of the sticks. The middle part will be the eye and you can make it as large as you like by continuing around again until the color represented in the middle (the eye) is as large as you like it.
Once you have completed the eye, choose your next color and tie it to the tail of the first color, now continue to the next stick using the same method of over and around and continuing diagonally, making that color as wide or as thin as you like.
When you have finished all the colors and created your diamond shape, knot or glue the end to the back. You can add an extra piece of looped yarn to hang the God’s Eye. For younger children you can use the variegated yarn so that there is less need to tie the separate pieces of yarn together.
This piece of art you create can be for all ages; many of the middle school students I have worked with have shared it helps them to relax if they are feeling anxious. The little ones may need a little bit more help but the repetition lends itself to being an accessible craft for all of the family.