“Hearing Voices” features the work of students and faculty in our Community,Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology (CLE) M.A./ Ph.D. specialization, as we participate in transformative practices, artistic creations, and theoretical innovations going on in the communities and environments we share. We meet on campus three days a month for nine months of the year from various places in the U.S. and abroad. During the summer students are involved in fieldwork and research in sites of their own choosing based on interest, commitment, and vocation. Our program brings together community, liberation, and depth psychologies with environmental justice initiatives and indigenous epistemologies and practices in order to be part of the critical work of establishing a 21st century curriculum with an emphasis on decoloniality.
Mary Watkins, Nuria Ciofalo, & Susan James, Core Faculty
A Note About Huichol Yarn Painting
Nierikas (pronounced Near-eeka) are traditional yarn paintings made by the Huichol people of Mexico. Living in remote mountain areas, they were never conquered or colonized and have maintained their traditional technologies and culture. Natural glue, made from tree resin and beeswax, is applied to a board, and yarn is pressed into it and left to harden. The designs and symbols on the Nierikas are based on rituals, myths, and visions directly experienced in periodic ceremonies heightened by plant medicines. The yarn paintings portray the Huichol worldview that sees humans as connected to vast networks of cosmological time, space, and transforming living systems. They believe it is their duty to take care of the cosmos because it is filled with sacred sources of creativity that they depend on for survival. Nierikas are not purely decorative objects; historically these spiritual artworks have been part of the rituals the Huichols participate in on a regular basis, and begin learning at a very young age. A Nierika is a device that allows communication with the spirit world. Originally, after creating them, the Nierikas were left in sacred places like temples, springs, and caves.