Ojo De Dios
Written by Anelia Van Zyl
My heart beats to the rhythm of everything Latin American! This month, I’ve chosen a special craft that originates in Mexico and serves as a cultural symbol of the indigenous Huichol people. “Ojo de Dios”, which means “God’s Eye”, provides protection and symbolizes spiritual importance in some beliefs. Furthermore, it’s admired for its cultural importance in Mexican heritage and also in its artistry.
The Huichol people believed that crafting Ojo de Dios could protect them from harm and bring them good luck. The Ojo de Dios carries a special meaning: It represents the power of seeing and understanding the world—like a window to the soul. For the Huichol people, it was also a way to connect with their gods and ancestors, making it a significant part of their spiritual practices.
The version of Ojo de Dios we’ll make here is basic, but I’ve seen some pretty impressive ones online. Also do yourself a favor and go read about Mexican arts—specifically Ojo de Dios!
For this project, you can use a range of different things like sticks, straws, and even pencils as a cross. If you want to make tiny ones, you can use toothpicks and thread. Make your design more interesting by using different colors of yarn. Change to a new color by simply switching the previous color after it has been wrapped a few times. Have fun!
• Craft glue
• Two or three colors of yarn
• Two large craft sticks (popsicle sticks)
• Cross stitch or tapestry needle
1. Put the sticks together to form an “X”. Wind some yarn around the middle of the X a few times to keep the sticks together and create the eye (ojo). If little hands are making this craft, you can glue the sticks together before you start to make it easier for them to handle.
2. Now that the middle part is secure, it’s time to start weaving. Firmly hold the end of one stick and wrap the yarn around it once.
3. Then, turning the X in a clockwise motion as you wrap, take the yarn over and around the next stick. Repeat the process—wrapping the yarn over and around each stick—until you want to change color.
4. Leave 5 cm of the starting yarn and tie the next color of yarn to it. Make sure that the knot is on the “backside” of the X as you continue weaving.
5. As you continue with the different colors, you will see the weave forming. Keep weaving until there is about 1 cm of stick left on each point of the X.
6. When you reach the end, cut the yarn to about 20 cm. Using a cross-stitching needle (adult supervision required), thread the remaining yarn through a few strands on the back of the cross to secure it.
Hang your Ojo de Dios on the wall to add some beauty to your room, or hang it by the window and see how the sunlight makes the colors pop. You can even give it to someone as a special gift. Either way, you’ll enjoy making it!
Photos courtesy of the author.
About the Author
Anelia is a performing artist from South Africa. She has been living and working as a teacher in Thailand for eight years. She also writes educational children’s books, makes music, and loves to spend time in the kitchen. Follow her adventures on IG @aneliavz.