The Source of Sacred Waters

The Source of Sacred Waters ~ Juan Ríos Martínez 1975

A pilgrim prepares to bathe in a source of sacred waters that springs near a volcanic peak named Reu'unax+, Burnt Peak, where Tayeu, Our Father Sun, appeared on the earth for the first time. He deposits votive offerings, symbolized by a candle and a sacred arrow (on opposite sides of the center). He has also brought ears of maize (green figures at lower center) and squash (purple figures below the maize) in order to thank the rains for prior and coming harvests. A dragonfly, 'aikwer+ka, is ready to sprinkle the pilgrim with drops of soul, kup+ri, when he bathes. The drops of sacred water renew the life of the soul. The stones around the sacred spring are covered with flowers and sacred reflections, nierikate; these are sacred designs like the ones that pilgrims paint on their cheeks with a yellow pigment on their way to the eastern desert. After the sacred bath, the pilgrim covers his cheeks with designs from the rocks, which Ríos Martínez says are "like a gift that can give one power, because they are blessed."

Explanation and Translation by Juan Negrín based on a tape recorded conversation with Juan Ríos Martínez..

Copyright ©Juan Negrin 1973 – 2020 All rights reserved digital and print.

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Wool yarn, plywood and beeswax