Monday, October 29, 2007

Create Your Own Ojo de Dios

The Huichol tribe of western-central Mexico doesn’t have TVs or computers or microwaves. They live simple lives, remaining separate from what we think of as society. Instead of a writing system, the Huichol tribe passes on knowledge and stories through traditions, ceremonies, and art. The Ojo de Dios, or God’s eye, is an example of traditional art that is used to pass down knowledge.
An Ojo de Dios is made by wrapping string around sticks. It represents the eye of God which sees and understands all things. The father weaves the inner eye when his child is born and then another layer is added each year until the child turns five. The Ojo de Dios is believed to give protection to the child.

To make your own Ojo de Dios, follow the directions below.
Supplies Needed:

Colored yarn
Two sticks or Popsicle sticks
Glue (optional)

Gather your supplies. Your sticks should be about the same length. I recommend using thicker sticks than I used because they kept threatening to snap in half as I wove.
Cross one stick over the other to form and X. If you have small hands, use a little glue to keep the sticks from uncrossing or moving around. Wrap your piece of yarn around the cross and tie and knot. Now you’re ready to begin weaving.

Lay the bound sticks in an X in front of you with the knot on the bottom. You will begin with the upper right stick. Wrap the yarn from underneath so the end is to the left of the stick. Then flip the end back over the stick so it ends to the right. Wrap the yarn under again so the end is to the left of the stick. This makes one complete loop.
Now spin the sticks clockwise and repeat these steps on the nest stick. Continue going around until the eye begins to form. Keep in mind that as you work you are looking at the back of the Ojo de Dios.
Change colors if you’d like, or complete the entire Ojo de Dios with the same piece of yarn. To change colors, just tie a knot between the two pieces of yarn and continue weaving with the new piece. You should tie the knot over one of the sticks because it will be easier to hide. Don’t clip the first color too short. You should do a few rotations with the new color to hide the end before cutting it off.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i love making these! they are so much fun! ive been making them since 5th grade!