01. Spiritual symbol
deer God Kauyumari
For the Kauyumari series, Vincent Mock has once again created artworks that depict a spiritual symbol to send a valuable message to the world around him. The name Kauyumari originates from the spiritual guide who leads the Marakame (Huichol) shamans on their visionary pathways. During their shamanistic rituals, they use the peyote (translated: glistening or divine messenger) cactus to induce a state of altered awareness. In their heightened state, they meet their deer God Kauyumari, the spirit guide who leads them to a higher level of understanding about the world.
The ancient Huichol tribe is located deep in the Mexican mountains where they have lived in harmony amongst nature for over 15,000 years. Sadly, large mining corporations are threatening to destroy their sacred lands.
Bead by bead
Vincent Mock has had the privilege to meet these tribes whilst exploring indigenous Mexico and during his time there immersed himself in the cosmology of the Huichol Indians and their ancient tribal art. This prompted Mock to unite his own imagination with that of the ancient Mexican tribes. Born was the Kauyumari project: a fusion of traditional craftsmanship, spiritual symbolism, and the modernized Western world. Today, the Marakame Indian stained glass beads decorate the shed antlers of giant red deer. Bead by bead, the Huichol cover the authentic antlers of the large Dutch deer with intricate patterns. One of the most commonly seen motifs is the deer (‘maxa’ in Huichol) which often appears in male and female pairs, symbolizing the unity between men and women throughout their spiritual journey.
Vincent Mock has spent a great deal of time and effort into bringing the Marakame beads into his Amsterdam-based studio and now skillfully manoeuvres between the modern world and the ancient.
The Kauyumari project draws attention to the ever-present danger of cultural extinction that many indigenous communities worldwide are confronted with and reacquaints our contemporary society with ancient spirituality and wisdom.
The magnum opus of this series is the megaloceros gigantus: a giant deer that became extinct about ten thousand years ago, most likely due to climate change and/or hunting by humans. Using the real skull and antlers of a 20,000-year-old megaloceros, the Huichol artists used thousands of glass beads to adorn the fossilised antlers of the giant deer and complete this grand artwork.
2016 – Present