This incredible art is produced by the Huichol, indigenous people living in the states of Nayarit and Jalisco. The murals are stitched from yarn and objects made from beads. The murals depict visions induced by taking Peyote, a cactus containing Mescaline, a strong hallucinogen. Peyote is only found in the deserts of Real de Catorce, a town in northern central mexico. The Huichol claim to have been displaced to the mountainous areas near the coast with the arrival of the Spanish 500 years ago. They consider themselves to be the original inhabitants and guardians of the desert.
Each year they make a pilgrimage back to the desert to collect enough Peyote for the whole year for religious ceremonies lead by shamen. The Huichol believe that by taking Peyote they make contact with the Gods and the spirit world. I was told some of them also represent bad trips, in which poisonous lizards and insects appear quite regularly (See all blue example below). The also use other hallucinogenic plants in their ceremonies which are also depicted in the art – morning glory and datura, for example.
Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the images.