History

Carl Lumholtz in Mexico 1892

Carl Sofus Lumholtz (23 April 1851 – 5 May 1922) was a Norwegian explorer and ethnographer, best known for his meticulous field research and ethnographic publications on indigenous cultures of Australia and Mexico. Born in Fåberg, Norway, Lumholtz graduated in theology in 1876 from the Royal Frederick University, now the University of Oslo.

Unknown Mexico Vol. 1, Carl Lumholtz
01/01/1902

Carl Sofus Lumholtz (23 April 1851 – 5 May 1922) was a Norwegian explorer and ethnographer, best known for his meticulous field research and ethnographic publications on indigenous cultures of Australia and Mexico. Born in Fåberg, Norway, Lumholtz graduated in theology in 1876 from the Royal Frederick University, now the University of Oslo.  We suggest viewing this book in full screen mode.

Unknown Mexico, Volume II
05/01/1903

A Record of Five Years' Exploration Among the Tribes of the Western Sierra Madre; In the Tierra Caliente of Tepic and Jalisco; and Among the Tarascos of Michoacan. We suggest viewing this book in full screen mode.

Decorative Art of the Huichol Indians ~ Carl Lumholtz Vol. III
01/01/1904

III. Decorative Art of the Huichol Indians - It is the purpose of this memoir to show that all designs employed by the Huichol are derived from the animal and plant world, from objects important in the domestic economy and religious life of the tribe, and from natural phenomena familiar to the people.
 

 

As archaeologist Phil Weigand puts it, the Huichol and their Cora neighbors had deep roots in the area where they are now settled in a sequence that had begun by the Mesoamerican Classic period (ca. 200-700 A. D.). The Corachol branch of this Uto-Aztecan language family leads linguists like Valiñas, cited by Weigand to consider the relative antiquity of this language group in the area. “This branch of Uto-Aztecan is far more closely related to the Taracahitan and Tepiman branches spoken to the north and west than to the Nahuan languages spoken farther east and south.”1 Furthermore, “In prehistoric times the Huicholes, the Coras and the Tepehuanos formed a single nation with the Opatas, the Tarahumaras and the Pimas” writes historian Salvador Gutiérrez Contreras,confirming the opinions of earlier historians Ignacio Dávila Garibi and Alberto Santoscoy.

The Huichol were distinguished as xurute, according to a geographical map published in 1579, in the Atlas Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (reproduced in various sources: Rojas, Neurath). The term vizurita is used by Father Tello, in his Crónica Miscelánea, written in 1652. The first reference to the huicholes as guisoles appears in a briefing to the bishop Ruiz Colmenares (between 1640 and 1650). Father Antonio Arias y Saavedra used the terms xamucas and huitzolmes in his chronicle (1673), the first ethnological work on the Indians of this area of the Sierra Madre, according to historian Gutiérrez Contreras.

The government has found it very difficult to ‘civilize’ the Huichol and integrate them as a dependent productive working class in the mountains. After independence was achieved from Spain, the laws of the reform passed under Benito Juárez during the 1850’s, restrained the power of the Catholic Church, but they also stopped recognizing Indian colonial land rights. Soon the Huichol, Cora, Tepehuan and Mexicanero Indian groups of the Western Sierra Madre were further dispossessed of their territory by their mixed blood neighbors. They rebelled, eventually uniting under Manuel Lozada, who joined French invading forces until they were stopped at Guadalajara, Jalisco, in 1873. Many of their land holdings were disenfranchised thereafter.

En 1965, la memoria: "Operación huicot" de las ingenieros J. Manuel Arreguín González y Mónico Rosales Hernández, estableció las bases de un proyecto de desarrollo para la zona huichol, que fue agrandado y modificado en los dos últimos sexenios.

Hoy existe una significativa primera generacion de jóvenes más o menos alfabetizados, la propuesta explotación del bosque es factible con los nuevos caminos forestales y la ganadería se ha extendido, pero no se ha reducido la brecha de la ignorancia que nos separa de nuestros conciudadanos. Por demás, la transformación radical de un medio ambiente y de un grupo cultural desconocidos, acarrea consecuencias, a menudo desastrosas, para el hábitat ecológico y el ser humano.