How to Make Huichol Jewelry

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Huichol jewelry uses fine seed beads to create intricate patterns.
Huichol jewelry uses fine seed beads to create intricate patterns. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The word "Huichol" refers to an ethnic Native American group who live in western Mexico. The Huichol believe that art is a fundamental part of their religion; they believe art is a way of communicating with their deities. Huichol art and jewelry depict patterns and symbols that are featured in their religion. Huichol beadwork features the peyote stitch, a stitch that is very distinctive and often associated with Native American beadwork. Crafting a bracelet is a good first beading project in the Huichol style.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Nylon thread
  • 5 bags, size 11 seed beads (red, black, blue, yellow, green)
  • Clasp
  • Split ring
  • Scissors
  • Elastic cord

Measure around your wrist to determine the length of the bracelet with the tape measure. Tie a double knot in the cord. String the number of red beads desired, ensuring that the total amount maintained is an odd number (5, 7, 11) for the first row. Thread one black bead (to create the second row) and cross the cord back through the second-last bead of the first row (red bead). Continue adding one bead at a time, threading the cord back through a bead in the previous row.

Thread the longer end of the cord through the black bead that was added last on the second row to begin the third row. Add one new blue bead and thread the cord back through the bead added just before this one (black bead). Continue adding beads one at a time, each time threading through a bead from the previous row.

Add a new yellow bead to begin the fourth row. Thread the cord back through the last bead added on the third row (blue bead). Continue adding beads, threading the cord back through the bead on the previous row (blue bead). After adding the last bead on this row, thread the cord back through the first bead of row two (black bead). Continue threading the cord through the last bead of row three (blue bead) and the last bead of row four (yellow bead). Repeat these three steps to create the desired length.

Insert a clasp around the one end of the cord. Gently pull the cord tight to avoid any gaps. Tie a double knot around the clasp; trim the excess cord with scissors. Thread a split ring around the other end of the cord. Tie a double knot around the ring. Pull the cord tight, and trim the excess cord with scissors.

Measure around your finger with a tape measure. Thread an odd number of green beads (5, 7 or 9) onto the elastic cord, forming a loose circle. Tie a loose knot. Thread the other end of the cord back through the last green bead added to the loose circle. Add a red bead, skipping a bead from the green circle of beads and thread the cord through the next bead in the green circle of beads. Add another black bead, skipping a bead from the circle of green beads. Thread the cord through the next green bead in the green circle of beads.

Continue this pattern all around the circle. Thread the cord through the first bead added to this row to end the row. Pull the cord tight as new beads are added. Continue the pattern to the determined length. Tie a double knot and pull the cord tight. Trim the excess cord with scissors.

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