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Visions of a Huichol Shaman
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Visions of a Huichol Shaman

Peter T. Furst

120 pages | 7 x 10 | 68 color illus.
Paper 2007 | ISBN 9781931707978 | $19.95a | Outside the Americas £14.99
Distributed for the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

The brilliant visionary yarn paintings of the shaman-artist Jose Benitez Sanchez emerge transformed into two-dimensional form from fleeting, sublime visionary experiences triggered by the complex chemistry of the divine peyote cactus. Benitez's visions are of the Huichol universe in Mexico's rugged Sierra Madre Occidental, as that world came into being in the First Times of creation and transformation and in the ongoing magic of a natural environment that is alive and without firm boundaries between the here and now and the ancestral past.

Modern yarn paintings—more than 30 in the University of Pennsylvania Museum's collection are illustrated here—have their roots in the sacred art of communication with numberless male and female ancestors and native deities, related in the two remarkable Huichol origin myths also presented here to shed some light on Native American culture and provide some understanding of the religious experience that informs it.

Peter T. Furst is the author of many books and essays on the Huichol and is Research Associate at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

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