1 Seccion Wixarikas

The Huichol People are an aborigine group from Mexico. Their collective and oral memory contains their origin and history. For them, the story “cosmic or true” is embodied in myths, art and symbolic manifestations in all of their people, with special emphasis on the relationship between corn, deer, peyote and many other beings from Mother Nature.

Huichol art and religious feelings are reflected in a variety of traditional rituals, objects in their clothing designs and the construction of temples and musical instruments.

Huichol’s handicrafts include wood tables covered with representative designs made of coloured threads of wool or yarn and beads. Clothes are pieces of high value due to the time spent in make them. Particularly striking, with geometric and fantastic figures, closely related to the intake of “peyote” (Lophophora williamsii).



Huichol Region

The “Huichol” region sits on the spine of the Sierra Madre Occidental in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. Divided into five large communities, each of them has its own autonomy, civil and religious authorities. The Huichol people inhabit in the municipalities of Mezquitic and Bolaños, (north of the state of Jalisco, Mexico) and La Yesca and Nayar (in the state of Nayarit), also there are minority groups in the states of Zacatecas and Durango.

Today approximately 8,000 survive, keeping alive a nature-based and spiritual way of life now long extinct in most parts of the Americas. Due to the encroachment of
Modern World, the core of Huichol traditional life is dissolving, and their ability to sustain their cultural identity is in grave danger.

Sierra del Nayar

In the Sierra del Nayar inhabit the Coras, Huicholes, Tepehuanos and Mexicaneros. Place full of traditions and ancestral customs.

Primarily an agricultural town, the Huichol are dependent on corn, planting their fields is along the steep slopes of the mountains of this region. Corn is the life of the Huichol Indians. The annual cycle of land preparation, planting, growing and harvesting of maize is surrounded by the religious ceremony, like whole Huichol daily life.

Virtually untouched for centuries, Huichol Indians took refuge from the Spanish conquest in the remote Sierra Madre mountain range. The Huichols have no history of war. Rather than training for war, they train their hearts to open to the healing powers of love and to the celebrations of life through the seasons. Because of this, they are famous for their strong ceremonial tradition, rich mythology and incredible visionary artwork.


Alguna comunidades


This community is located on the bank of Agua Milpa dam framed by beautiful mountains and fed by the waters of the Rio Grande de Santiago and Huaynamota, plus runoff forming small waterfalls descending from the slopes of the Sierra Madre Occidental. The access to this site is by a paved road of forty-five kilometres from the city of Tepic.


Meaning (sweet corn), Zitacua is a neighbourhood in Tepic city, Nayarit where natives of four tribes such as the Cora, Huichol, Tepehuanes and Mexicaneros Tepehuanes inhabit. It is the only community of diverse aborigine groups established in the capital city, which also aims to preserve cultural traditions.

The groups came to this neighbourhood some years ago when their communities were flooded by the construction of the Agua Milpa dam. Living at the top of Cerro Bola has made them to lose some of their cultural essence, discrimination has contributed to the change in their habits, and few people still preserve the tradition of wearing their traditional costumes.

Women and housewife are artisans, engaged in manufacture and sale of paintings, textiles, garments, beaded necklaces and earrings, with small profits.


5 Seccion Simbologia


When producing religious and ceremonial items, all aspects from materials to colors and designs are important because they are identified with gods and particular meanings.


One of the most important animals in Huichol tradition. It is the big brother, the wise and all-knowing and understands. Spiritual guide, messenger and guardian.


Huichol consider this plant as an instrument to receive divine, it is represented with flowers symbolizing communication, words, songs and messages through which the mara'kames (healers, shamans) asking for help or give thanks to their gods.


“Father sun” is the most sacred spirit (Tayaupa); gives life, light and nourishment, ensures good crops and abundant food. His wife is the Eagle, mother of the sky and goddess of life.


The snake guides water.  The clouds that surround her symbolize that it is she, the snake, who brings water to the earth. The Huichols believe that rain itself consists of millions of small snakes.


Sacred; used in ceremonies, healings, deer hunts. The white flower is a symbol for corn. All flowers are considered sacred in healing rituals


Messengers of the gods.


Aassistants of the rain goddesses, turtles are believed to be responsible for replenishing the water of underground springs and the purity of all water sources.


Knowledge and wisdom, honored in all peyote ceremonies. Mara’kames claim to possess the power to transform themselves into spirited wolves.


Illustrates what is desired to the gods. Colourfully decorated, they are carried during ceremonies and prayer for protection, health, and abundance. The symbols themselves represent attributes of different gods and goddesses.


Protector against evil and bad luck. They are both esteemed and feared. However, scorpions cause numerous fatalities every year; Huichols believe that the scorpion spirit is a powerful ally that protects them.


The lizard is the animal that takes care of Grandfather Fire.  The Huichol also believe that lizards, together with scorpions, protect humans from evil.  However, they only protect when humans have been good to them.


Messengers of the god of fire, Tatewari. Guardians


“Mother Eagle”, Mother of the Sky and Queen of Heavens. Huichols admire the eagle as the most magnificent among all birds. The double-headed eagle is another common design, representing the shaman's omnipotent power to see in all directions.


Represent the illumination of the human spirit.


Trusted confidant of the shamans


Portal between the physical and spiritual worlds, represented by a colourful circular design at the centre, also a symbol for prayer offerings.

Corn plant:

One of the most important gifts from the gods; it is the base crop of the Huihcol diet, seasons and agricultural rituals.


Used in ceremonies to communicate



The handicrafts are figures and masks carved in wood, representing figures of deities and sacred animals, preserved as a living religious tradition also manifesting through the art of sculpture. On the piece of wood, a layer of wax is placed and adorned with mosaic patiently beaded, culminating with each artisan´s design based on their inspiration.

According to some historians, the first contact of Huichol people with beads, that have their origin in European, was between 1591 and 1600. These supplies gave a character to the Huichol dress marked them forever, although their clothes have evolved through years, according to their customs, beads currently represent its main feature, both in their personal ornaments and in their craft.



There are many types of Wixarika music. Traditional styles include xaweri and kanari, which always sing new verses improvised and played with indigenous manufacture instruments to accompany trampled in dance. The music and dancing  have strong Prehispanic features and is part of the ritual that honors the divinity. The dances are limted and have easy steps, carry the rhythm with the feet. A feature of the celebrations is to take tejuino, drink made from fermented corn, other than the tejuino popular, which is a drink that intoxicates and it has a distinct flavor. Here you can find a traditional Huichol music disc with the sole purpose of promoting Wixarika culture

Disc title:

Wixarika Kwikariyari (Ritual Wixol Chant) INDIGENAS HUICHOLES

Interpreted by:

Xaureme and family

Interest Links

Vochol – Art on wheels  Defend Wirikuta

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