Luis Castro (Huichol).

Luis Castro Huichol artist holding his yarn painting

Luis is the son of Eliseo Castro, one of the pioneers of the yarn art.  His grandfather Daniel Castro was a very well known shaman and his great grandfather Hilario Castro was undoubtably one of the most powerful shaman of his time.   Luis's family is from Las Guyabas, a temple complex located deep in the canyon below San Andres Cohamiata the ceremonial center of the Huichol.  Luis's designs are much more complex than the pieces that his father used to do, his sense of realism and perspective are taking Huichol art in new directions and his day of the dead series is not the first time we've seen skeletal figures in Huichol art but is the first time that we have seen them in so much detail.
Luis has explained that the skeleton figures represent their ancestors.  As a shamanic culture they believe that the gods are their direct ancestors and it is they who taught them how to plant the corn, ask for rain, hunt the deer and do just about everything else that the culture needs to do to survive.  Just about all the pieces Luis does involve leaving offerings of peyote, corn, deer, prayer arrows and candles to give thanks to the gods for the bountiful harvest, good luck or health.  Ancestral spririts can been seen taking offerings up to the gods, large pots of water are overturned so the rain will fall and the corn will grow.  Everything you see in his pieces comes from the actual ceremonies that the Huichol hold to ask the gods for the rain that makes the corn grow, the good luck they need in hunting, the power to heal that the shaman possess as well as the ceremonies performed to thank the gods for the successful harvest.

Click to view Luis' yarn art.

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