This short documentary was made possible by the generous donations of the Heineman Foundation, Beanfield Productions, POV/Rose, WriteCause Creative and individuals who believe in the Huichol Center and the efforts its made to help preserve the customs and traditions of an endangered culture.
We believe it is imperative to bear in mind as you watch, many miles away, in the desert region of San Luis Potosi, in an area that has been designated by UNESCO as a world biodiversity reserve, the aquifers and ecosystems are under siege by mining companies and agro business polluters who have illegally obtained land, water and mining rights. While the Huichols hold title to their lands in their mountain homeland, they do not have formal title to the sacred sites on these desert lands that they consider to be their primordial paradise.
Their annual migration to this peyote habitat, "Wirikuta," is the root of their cultural identity because it honors a sacred covenant between the Huichol people and their creators. The collection of sacred waters from the springs in this desert oasis and the harvesting of peyote for their ceremonies are a cornerstone of Huichol ceremonial life.
If the mining company is not immediately ceased and all goes as planned, this place of grace, harmony and perfection will be converted into a toxic wasteland.
The Huichol Center is working in collaboration with several international organizations to raise awareness of this takeover. At the same time, we are also working with the Mexican Government and NGOs to implement water-resource management techniques and are excited to participate in a state-run training center in Huejuquilla called Centro Supera
("Center for Advancement"). This center will teach, among other things, skills in gardening, animal husbandry and eco-friendly resource management.
Your involvement and donations will help us fund the Huichol Center and continue its mission to protect the Huichol Homeland and help the Huichols become a sustainable people in these trying times.
Huichol Art dates back millenia. During spiritual rituals Shaman have visions which are then transcribed into carvings, yarn art, and have evolved into t-shirts, boxed note cards, framed art and downloadable animations. Each image has spiritual meaning.
Huichol art is personal and captivating, with intricate designs, vibrant colors and sacred symbols. It is an expression of deeply held spiritual beliefs.
In the Huichol culture, art and religion are inextricable. The shaman links the community with the spirit world, from where their creativity pours forth as a gift from their deified ancient ancestors (The First People) - to be given back as offerings to the gods.
The First People, once dwelled in the Wirikuta desert and were driven out into the Sierra Madre Occidental to live a mortal agrarian existence. The pilgrims, led by a mara'akame (shaman) to cleanse the way, travel 600 miles round trip to re-enter the sacred land.
During the trip, they perform a series of rituals and ceremonies to transform themselves into deities. At different locations, they adopt more and more of their divine identities and assume the feelings and attitudes attributed to the First People.
If the ceremonial thoughts and actions are properly performed, the peyote will be found and "slain" with a bow and arrow. A slice of peyote will be given to each of the peyoteros who will then have their own personal visions. They will talk to God, receive instructions and will, thereafter, sing, cure, or create.
This moment of sharing the peyote is the fulfillment of the highest goals in Huichol religious life. They have traveled to paradise, transformed themselves into deities and communed with the gods, and then return as mortals.
From the ecstasy of that experience the artwork of the people is born.
Volunteer: The Huichol Center welcomes volunteers from around the world. If you are interested in a volunteer vacation or want to get involved, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate: Your tax-deductible donations, big and small, are greatly appreciated.
The Huichol Center is a non-profit organization that invites you to share the joy of making a difference in the future of the Huichol culture and the world.
Upon receipt of your donation, we will write you a thank-you letter for tax purposes. You can donate online through PayPal or send checks to:
The Huichol Center for Cultural Survival and Traditional Arts
356 Calle Loma Norte
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Centro Indigena Huichol, A.C.
Calle Victoria #24
Huejuquilla el Alto, Jalisco, Mexico 46000
Purchase Huichol Center Art:
• Museum quality Huichol Art: yarn paintings, beaded sculptures
• High Fashion award winning beaded jewelry
• Huichol books, symbolism cards, ornaments, magnets
• Huichol woven and embroidered bags
• Huichol t-shirts
• Sayulita and Day of the Dead cards, ornaments and magnets
• Earring stands
• San Miguel designs aprons and bags by Patrice Wynne
• México, Nayarit and Jalisco maps
The Huichol Center is developing an ebay store to help fund the Center's non-profit programs.
Huichol Art made at the Center can be purchased at the following locations:
Direct mail order and wholesale: email@example.com
In the U.S. - The Huichol Center for Cultural Survival and the Traditional Arts is located at 356 Calle Loma Norte, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501. Telephone is (505) 983-7182.
In Jalisco, Mexico - Centro Indigena Huichol, A.C. is located at Calle Victoria #24, Huejuquilla el Alto, Jalisco, Mexico 46000. Telephone is (457) 983-7054.
In Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico - Galeria Tanana is located at Revolucion 22 in Sayulita, Nayarit 63733, near Puerto Vallarta and next to the bridge, in front of YoYo Mo's. Open Monday-Saturday from 9:30 am until 8:30 pm, Sundays from 10:00 am until 7:00 pm. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org and telephone is 329-291-3889
The Galeria Tanana is a non-profit gallery located in Sayulita. You can help support the Huichol Center by visiting the gallery and purchasing any of the beautiful treasures on display.
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