Sunday, March 18, 2018
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Vallarta Sports News

Wixaritari Tatei Kei 3rd Annual Indigenous Festival

Some forty artisans and musicians are gathered for this week in the recently developed far end of the Plaza Caracol. Their indoor site is at the side of the big parking lot behind Gigante.

Recognizable by their signature white pajama-like clothing decorated with carefully embroidered bright red and blue motifs, the men of the community sometimes wear straw hats adorned with feathers and dangling knitted ornaments.

The artisans gathered here are men and women who use tiny brightly colored beads to design and decorate bowls, statues of animals, wrist bands and necklaces, among other treasures. Their similarly created bead and string "paintings" are eye-catching. Upon closer inspection, stunning subtleties of design emerge. Each piece is unique, a one-of-a-kind creation.

It is a tribute to the artistry of the work presented for sale that a number of gallery owners have rushed to the exhibition to buy pieces for later re-sale in their shops. Among them, Frederico Rosales, owner of Ximero, Paseo Diaz Ordaz #590 across from the Malecon in el Centro. He introduced me to one young artist whose work is so extraordinary, he said, that it was all bought and gone in the opening days.

Another Vallarta gallery, Gallery Huichol Indian Art, Calle Guerrero 190 also in el Centro, represents the work of at least one extremely intriguing artist whose works are found here. Because the artist brought additional examples of his work to the show recently, there are still a few pieces available.

Come to this show and you'll be able to buy the precious pieces that appeal to you without paying the mark-ups of a middle man. You will also have a chance to see the artisans at work and possibly even meet the creators of your purchases.

If you are taken by the artisans' approach to their art but find nothing that appeals to you directly, you can always visit the galleries to see what they have to offer.

In addition to the art on display and the artists at work, every evening at 6.00 pm. Wixaritari musicians entertain with traditional music using traditional instruments. It's all a trip back in time.

Saturday night, March 15th, is the grand finale. At 6.00 pm, they begin the celebration of their peyote festival, the "Fiesta del Peyote," Hikuri Neixa. This will be the closing ceremony.

Although the Wixaritari gathering and exhibition are somewhat of a challenge to find – there is no signage outdoors or in the Mall itself – they are well worth the effort. Simply go to the Plaza parking area behind Gigante and across from Avenida de los Tules, just below Cornerstone Hospital. Next to the wide glass doors and covered back entrance of the Mall, is another back entrance to the Mall. Behind those doors, you'll find the Wixaritari. They are to the left of the movie theater entrance. Easy parking.

This 3rd Annual Festival presents an opportunity not to be missed. The arts and the dignified presence of the Wixaritaris embody preservation for us all to see, an insight into life in the Sierra Madre more than 500 years ago... and today.

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