Cultural Context: Huichol style
Origin: Jalisco or Nayarit, Mexico (North America)
Technique: Taffeta and needle-embroidered decoration [Cross-stitch]
Dimensions: Shirt: Length = 85 cm; Width = 61 cm; Collar: Length = 13 cm ; Sleeve: Length = 20.50 cm; Width = 13 cm Inventory No: 1993/01/136
Typical male dress from the Huichol people, also called the Wixáricas, the Indigenous community living in the Western Sierra Madre of Mexico, mainly in the states of Jalisco and Nayarit.
Huichol men's dress is one of the few Indigenous costumes in which men’s typical dress features more decoration than that of the women. Both the main garments and the accessories are decorated with cross-stitch embroidery motifs in different colours. These designs have significant symbolic, mythological and magical significance for the wearer. They serve as visual prayers and protect the wearers from harm or evil. For example, the figures of the deer and the squirrel express requests for protection from the deity they represent; the eagle, sometimes two-headed, is believed to guard the young maize; the zig-zag lines suggest lightning, which is associated with rain; plants and flowers become symbols of life, and so on.
The decoration includes geometric, vegetal and stylised figurative motifs. The group on the chest stands out: it features a plant motif of four flowers, on either side of which are two animal figures facing each other in profile.