Traditional Puerto Vallarta arts and crafts are extremely varied, and there is something for different tastes. Whether you are searching for a beautiful ornament as a keepsake or a higher-end piece of furniture or artwork, Puerto Vallarta has got all of them for you.
The city offers excellent selection of Huichol art. The Huichol Indians are Aztec descendants; they are one of the world’s indigenous cultures that still practice ancient traditions and customs, speak ancient language, and live in their original habitat.
Huichol arts and crafts have been cloaked in a veil of mystery and mysticism. This is perhaps one of the many reasons serious art collectors are attracted by these art forms. The colorful and symbolic yarn paintings, which are inspired by visions one experienced during spiritual ceremonies, is one of the major characteristics of Huichol art. In the rituals, artists ingest a hallucinogenic cactus (peyote), which induces colorful visions. These visions are considered to be messages from their ancestors. The mythological and symbolic imagery of the visions influences their art, which covers not only yarn paintings but also interesting bowls masks designed with small colored beads.
While geographically isolated, the Huichol are beginning to learn the importance of business. Thus, in order to satisfy consumer demand, they have adapted their art to include designs that depict iguanas, sea turtles, jaguars, eclipses, frogs, and eggs. If you are after more traditional works, you should look for pieces depicting snakes, deer, scorpions, or wolves.
You may see Huichol on the city streets. They are not difficult to spot. A Huichol Indian traditionally wears white clothing that is embroidered with bright colorful designs. You can find many fine Huichol galleries in downtown Puerto Vallarta.