fbpx
Home Spotlight Volkswagen Beetle decorated with 2 million beads links Mexico’s past and present

Volkswagen Beetle decorated with 2 million beads links Mexico’s past and present

Artists spent over 9,000 hours covering the Beetle with ornate Huichol beading

Following the Volkswagen tradition of creating expressive and artistic vehicles, like the Volkswagen Light Bus and the Wedding Beetle, comes the “Vochol,” a 1990 Beetle covered in over 2 million glass beads.

“The name ‘Vochol’ is a combination of ‘vocho,’ a common term for Volkswagen Beetles in Mexico, and “Huichol,” another name for the Wixárika indigenous group in the western states of Nayarit and Jalisco, Mexico. Separated from modern Mexico by the Sierra Madre mountains, Huichol artists have preserved many of their pre-Columbian traditions through the centuries, including their decorative beadwork,” according to Volkswagen news release.

The Vochol was commissioned back in 2010 with a goal of demonstrating the ongoing traditions of Mexico’s indigenous communities using “folk techniques on a modern canvas,” stated Volkswagen. 

A team of eight artists from two Huichol families was tasked with the job of meticulously decorating the chassis and interior of the ’90 Beetle by hand.

The Huichol beads found on the vehicle are made from colorful glass or plastic and artistically places to depict geometric patterns and scenes of animals and crops. Originally, the beads the Huichol people used were made from seeds, shells, and other natural materials and used on jewelry, animal skulls, bowls and masks.

The artists covered the entire Beetle from the rims and side mirrors to the seats and steering wheel in colorful designs that express the Huichol spiritual beliefs.

“On the Vochol’s hood, two snakes in the clouds represent rain. The sides depict deer, scorpions, birds and peyote flowers, which are all important symbols in Huichol culture and spirituality,” explained Volkswagen.

RELATED:  Mazda centennial celebration includes tracing its racing DNA

“On the hood, a large sun symbolizes the union between humans and gods, and four two-headed eagles offer protection to the passengers inside. An image of a shaman steering a canoe adorns the back of the car. The phrases ‘200 years of Independence’ and ‘100 years since the Mexican Revolution’ are spelled out in the Wixárika language along the fenders to mark the bicentennial of the start of the war of independence from Spain in 1810 and the centennial of the Mexican Revolution in 1910.”

In total, the Vochol is covered in about 2,277,000 beads and took the team of artists over 9,000 hours to complete.

The masterpiece was first unveiled in Guadalajara, Mexico and then featured in Mexico City for exhibition. It eventually went on a museum world-tour across the US, Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East. The Vochol calls the Museo de Arte Popular in Mexico City home when it’s not on loan.

“By combining the Volkswagen Beetle – a pop culture icon in Mexico and around the world – with the Huichol traditional craft, the Vochol is a unique display of the persistence of folk art in a modern world,” said Volkswagen. “The car is perhaps the largest individual piece of Huichol beadwork ever created.”

RELATED:  Lamborghini Jarama celebrates 50th anniversary
Racheal Colbert
An experienced writer and editor, Racheal brings her enthusiasm for collector cars to her role as the Content Manager of the Collector Car Network. Former Content Writer and Marketing Manager in the tech and publishing industry, Racheal brings a fresh perspective to the Journal and the automotive world.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent Posts

Aston Martin offers Vantage Legacy Collection

Aston Martin Racing has announced the Vantage Legacy Collection, a trio of cars offered to commemorate the British brand’s racing success in...

Another Guinness record for Porsche, this time in drifting

Porsche’s quest for world domination of obscure automotive records took another turn, or several hundred of them, recently leaving the automaker to...

Pick of the Day: 1972 Fiat 124 Spider classic sports car from Italy

The first car I ever owned was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe, so I am a bit biased. I loved that Fiat...

Gooding schedules Arizona auction that will be held entirely online

Gooding & Company will conduct its annual Scottsdale, Arizona, auction in January, but it won’t be in Scottsdale. Instead, the California auction company...

6th annual Future Collector Car Show set for April 11, 2021

The sixth annual Future Collector Car Show is scheduled for April 11, 2021, at High Street in Phoenix, ClassicCars.com has announced. The...
- Advertisment - Gift Guide