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This article is a part of Medicine Stories, an exclusive series made possible by a grant from the Elna Vesara Ostern Fund. This is the second story in a series about the traditional medicine of the Wixárika (Huichol) Peoples of Western Mexico. See Part 1, Healing the planet, healing themselves: Wixárika medicine transcends the personal. "We do not want to let them contaminate the sacred places; we want to leave something beautiful for our families, and for them to learn to keep the practice. It is our task that falls to all the communities of Nayarit, Durango, Jalisco. Let us raise and sow that sacred seed, and let our planet not end, so that all that is beautiful remains. Pamparius." Mara’akame José Luis Ramírez “Urraumire”

Photograph ©Tracy Barnett 2018

This article is a part of Medicine Stories, an exclusive series made possible by a grant from the Elna Vesara Ostern Fund. "The medicine is teacher, master; it is the Blue Deer, the one who determines from the four directions where the sacred song is summoned, where he teaches us to speak, how to heal, how to make cures, and that is why this is very sacred. Through the messages of the medicine, we cure ourselves in the ceremony. There we see the news and the ancestral messages, and we see how we have to act." — Mara’akame Juan José Ramírez, “Urruamire”

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Before the Flood - Tutukila Carrillo Sandoval 1973

Life in the world began in the darkness of the Underworld, near the coast.  The land sloped upward with any feature; no rivers or mountains existed.  The wisest beings in those times communicated by telepathic means, they were unable to see each other, and they were called hewixitari.  They were the ancestors (figures left to right in the black area) whose names were Tamatsi Kauyumarie (Our Elder Brother Fawn of the Sun), Tamatsi Maxakuaxí (Our Elder Brother Deer Tail), Takutsi (Our Great Grandmother, the oracular spirit of germination), Tatéi Yurianaka (Our Mother who-feeds-off-her-own-veins-to-live, i.e. fertile earth), and Tatewarí (the patron of tai, fire, whose name means Our Grandfather). The sacred instruments of their powers were kept in their xiriki, the shrine seen at lower left. Painting by Tutukila Carrillo Sandoval 1973