|This is an eagle, but when we first saw it, we thought it might have been a phoenix--isn't that a fire just below the eagle? Wrong us, wrong legend....|
|This one's a little blurry, but you can see the snakes, various kinds of deer, and some little yellow scorpions just under the vents at the top of the picture.|
|This is the view of the top, taken from the second floor. I love the four blue double-headed eagles in the corners and also the woman with offerings on the bottom edge.|
|Friends Judy (seated), Sue (right), and Meredith (back). Judy, who is Native American, and wife Sue have six pieces of Huichol art, though nothing as big as the Vochol.|
|Poster with clues to the images|
(To get a gorgeous view, click the full screen icon!)
The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NAMI) has a Vochol on display right now--until May 6, 2012. Vochol combines the Mexican name for VW Beetle (vocho) with Huichol, the name of a west-central Mexican people noted for their beadwork. (The Huichol also are called Wixáritari in their own language.)
Eight artists from two Wixáritari families took seven months to create this gorgeous beaded Bug. They used 200 pounds of beads and needed more than 9,000 hours to paste them all on. Except for the tires and running boards, almost every inch of the Beetle's exterior is beaded--even the back of the mirror on the driver's side. Even the interior has colorful Wixáritari embroidery designs, although only the steering wheel and the dashboard are completely beaded.
My photos don't begin to compare with those in the video above, but due to some mysterious intervention by my camera, the photo just before the ones I took of the Vochol was of the gate on 7th and H Streets NW in DC's Chinatown. I was floored by the similarity: bits of bright color, indigenous (though continents apart) design.
Another bonus: This flower was blooming by the waterfall between the East and West buildings of the National Gallery. Again, the Huichol beadwork in the NMAI display suggest the bright colors, the delicate shapes in nature's fine art.
|A flower by the waterfall in the walkway between the East and West buildings of the National Gallery.|