The Nayarit of Western Mexico circa 100 to 800 AD left a great artistic legacy in the way they recorded every day life at the social and individual
level, and i'd like to share some of with you as i believe it's well worth looking at...
Above we see the Nayarit village in ceramic and pigment, the village is laid out according to the four sacred directions, in the centre is a podium
probably representing the various levels of existence. On top of this is a warrior chieftan with club, and curiously a large hand is on his hand,
perhaps representing blessings from above, but strange...
Below is another curious hand or plant representation, with people seemingly caught up in it and a Deity seated within it, perhaps those who have
fallen into the hand of the underworld...uncertain.
Here's another view of the village, and the chief and his musicians, one also sees a hollow area under the house to the left, this is the underworld
aspect to each home, were the departed ancestors were thought to carry on life below as above;
You see this here, were the dead are enjoying a meal below as are the living above...
There was also the tradition of a sacred tree associate with the four directions, and the birds that symbolized such, and here are the people having a
dance around it;
The notion of a celestial axis might perhaps also explain the crazy antics of young men and dogs in the Nayarit version of pole dancing;
Other activities included wrestling;
the ball game;
and sleeping between the dogs houses;
sleeping for a more extensive period;
all in all then a great representation of their lifestyle and beliefs.
When it came to representing themselves as individuals they appear fascinated by qualities of strangeness and pathos, it seems to be the weirdness of
it all that drove them to meticulously record...this is the Nayarit in their Sunday best;
and a warrior at his most awesome;
but the beauty of their women could be strange in form...
though there is a contemplative quality;
and the mysteriously decorative;
just a brief insight then into their lively and enigmatic world...