Authors: Juan Antonio Salcedo Padilla and Selene Mora Andrade


"Huichol", a Spanish word from the term wixarika, which means: a crowd that populates places with spiny plants, which in Mexico is known as Huizachal.

They live mainly in the municipalities of Mezquitic and Bolaños, in the north of the state of Jalisco, as well as in La Yesca and Nayar, in the state of Nayarit, and minority groups in the states of Zacatecas and Durango.

They speak Wixárica, a Yuto-Nahua linguistic variant; part of the American indigenous language family made up of the Pima and Nahuatl groups, which includes a total of 37 languages, including Cora, Mayo, Tarahumara, Tepehuano and Yaqui

The mythological origin of the Wixarikas is Wirikuta, the desert where the peyote was born in Real de Catorce in the state of San Luis Potosí and the sun; From there the gods undertook the journey to the mountains following the path of the sun, to found and establish the Wixarika region, their gods are the ancestral masters of the world, they created it and protect it. In turn, men thank and feed their gods with dance, music, peyote, offerings, feasts, and ceremonies.

Music and dance in the Huichol culture have great relevance within religious practices and serve to honor the divinity. There is not much variety in the dances and the steps are very simple.

The delivery of the dance is proof of exaltation and gratitude. Their dances hit the ground hard so that it wakes up and can receive the rain.

The pointer of the dance represents the goddess Tatei Nia'ariwame, the serpent of the rain that comes from the desert in the east. The wavy rod represents this same goddess.

Huichol music is very varied. Among the traditional genres, the xaweri and kanari sounds (rabel and guitar) stand out, which are always sung with new improvised verses and played with locally made instruments, to accompany the zapateada dance.

The main festivals are held in relation to three critical moments in the maize growing cycle: the preparation of the coamil, the sowing and the obtaining of the first fruits. One of them is the toasted corn festival, which is parallel to the clearing and burning of the land. In this ritual the union of the three central elements of their religion is manifested: corn, deer, and peyote.


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