The flood and the creation myth of the Huichol Indians of Mexico is told through the brilliantly colored yarn paintings of shaman Gaudalupe Barajas de la Cruz and other Huichol artists. This remarkable art form, with its clear, colorful figures and traditional symbols and motifs, has strong visual appeal for both young people and adults.
In this story a Huichol boy plays a role similar to Noah’s— though Watakame’s odyssey is more complex and magical. He been selected by Nakawe, the creator of all growing things, to escape the coming flood and begin human life again in the new world. Nakawe tells him to build a small boat and to bring him fire, the seeds of squash, beans, and corn, and one companion— a small dog. When the flood waters recede, Watakame witnesses the recreation of the sun and all living things. Nakawe helps Watakame find a wife and instructs him in planting, harvesting, and making offerings to the god. The Huichol are his descendants. He instructs them in the proper way of living and teaches them joyful songs, prayers, and dances to please the gods and celebrate the beautiful new world that is their home.
The story, which has been carefully researched, offers a view into the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of an indigenous group that has only recently become known outside its traditional homelands.
Bilingual, of interest to young readers 9 years and older, parents, educators, folklorists, and to all of those who value indigenous art.