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KARINA ALVIZO

Mexico City - Mexico

"My favourite part of Huichol beadwork is how it can be imbued with so many symbols and meanings that if you're not looking carefully you'll miss an important part. I feel that life is very much the same way."

KARINA'S COLLECTION
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Karina has lived all along America's West Coast, from Portland to Los Angelos, but she now finds herself in Mexico City. It was Karina's mother, native to Tee'Kata who taught her much of her knowledge of the Huichol peoples or Wixáritari of Mexico's Sierra Madre region. This ancient tribe has been said to have lived in the area for at least 15,000 years, where they perform sacred peyote ceremonies.

The ceremonies were only one aspect of the culture that would entrance Karina and would lead her on the path to learning more about the origins of her people and the various traditions and crafts. At 17 Karina travelled to Tee' Kata with her mother to experience, amongst other things, the art of  Huichol style beadwork. Here she learnt the intricate details of the craft and the importance of animals in Huichol culture. For example, the wolf or "kumukemai", is a spirit carrier and is always honored during cactus ceremonies. Many Huichol believe they are descendants of the ancient Wolf people, while shamans claim that they have the ability to transform into wolves.

Karina embeds many of these fascinating aspects of Huichol culture in her craft and shares it with whoever is willing to listen. She continues to learn more about her heritage and practice her intricate beadwork in her own particular style.