Featured Articles

Peyote being picked in the sacred territory of Wirikuta, Mexico | Camille Pelloux. All rights reserved

When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico half a millennium ago, they sought to convince Indigenous people that consumption of peyote, an inconspicuous cactus that contains the psychedelic drug mescaline, was akin to devil worship.

San Sebastián's Historic Vote ~ Foto Wixárika.mx

After four years of struggle, the Wixárika community of San Sebastián Teponahuaxtlán in Mezquitic, Jalisco, will directly receive federal resources to manage amongst themselves without the intervention of local officials or political parties. And they will do so with women at the table under an agreement of gender parity, a rarity among Indigenous governments and, indeed, governments in general.

The Caravan arriving at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City hoisting the Mexican flag and the banner of its territory, San Sebastián Teponahuaxtlán. Photo – Werika Yuawi Hernández

“We are here to reaffirm that we are still standing, resisting, defending what belongs to us.”

Sitlali Chino Carrillo

Historic Wixárika Ceremony, Cerro Quemado, Feb. 6, 2012. Photo: Tracy L. Barnett

It is that time of year again, when, since time immemorial, the Wixárika people are preparing their offerings. The candles of life, the chaquira gourd bowls, the God’s eyes, the prayer arrows. They are beginning to retrace the arduous journey of their ancestors, carried out every year in sacred reciprocity for the gift of life. 

Bosques de pino en San Sebastián Teponahuaxtlán. Foto: Agustín Castillo.

Pine forests in San Sebastián Teponahuaxtlán. Image courtesy of Agustín Castillo.

The Sierra Madre Occidental in northwestern Mexico boasts vast forests that are home to Indigenous communities such as the Wixárika people (or Huichols). Across the largest forest reserves in Jalisco, just three communities are spread across an area of more than 400,000 hectares (988,421 acres), equivalent to one-fifth the size of El Salvador. But this natural wealth is not reflected in the residents’ living conditions. Now, several stakeholders are coming together to help change this narrative.

Featured Artwork

The Nierika of Our Elder Brother Tamatsi Kauyumarie - Yauxali 1977

In this nierika we see how Our Elder Brother Tamatsi Kauyumarie, Deer of the Sun, appears in the East where Our Father Sun rises. Our Elder Brother knows the paths to the peaks of the ancestors that are drawn around the world (see the edges of this nierika) like triangles where nierikate appear.

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This book was jointly published by the Secretary of Culture for the State of Jalisco, Mexico and the Wixárika Research Center in honor of the Year of Indigenous Languages and to celebrate the exhibit Grandes Maestros del Arte Wixárika: Acervo Negrín at the Museo Cabañas in Guadalajara (June 21, 2019 - January 12, 2020). This is a tri-lingual publication - Spanish, English and Wixárika.