Tag Archives: holy

Beaded skulls

London-based Catherine Martin of Our Exquisite Corpse traveled to Mexico and discovered the beautiful beadwork of the Huichol. She worked with them to create these stunning beaded clay skulls at the time of  ‘dia de los muertos’, the day of the dead.

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African tribal influences?

When most people think about Mexico they never think about Africa, or natives of African descent. However there are areas in Mexico that have a large black population.

Black heritage in Mexico is not only isolated to Veracruz and Costa Chica. In the 1500 Spaniards brought Africans into Mexico because the Indians were dying. By the mid-1600, there were more than 15000 blacks and mulattos in Mexico. The races in Mexico mixed, thus making Mexico a nation of mestizos (mixed peoples).

 This work of art showing a Huichol indian playing a drum has something African about it, it almost looks like it has been influenced by African tribal art. A reliquary figure covered with beads and Huichol symbolism.

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Save Wirikuta!

REAL DE CATORCE, Mexico – From atop the sun-scoured mountain called Cerro Quemado, the vast basin below might seem like any other desolate corner of the northern Mexico desert. Ribbons of asphalt and dirt cut through dun-colored landscape choked with cactus, creosote and the occasional tree. Trains, as if trudging ants from these heights, move north toward the border and on to Houston bearing auto parts, clothing and other treasures conjured by Mexican and Chinese hands.

Yet this expanse of apparent nothing is anything but. This is Wirikuta, the hallucinogenic holy land of a tiny and long-besieged indigenous nation called the Huichol. From this very mountain, many Huichol believe, was born the sun and the world as we know it.

Unfortunately for the Huichol, the mountains that cradle the Cerro Quemado also begat some of the planet’s richest veins of silver, which for more than two centuries filled the vaults of Spanish kings and local grandees alike.

Now, Canadian- financed plans to tap those arteries anew have set soul searchers against wealth seekers in a fresh echo of the nearly 500-year contest for Mexico’s essence.

“All this area is sacred,” said Marciano de la Cruz, 34, a Huichol who sells handicrafts in Real de Catorce, the crumbling town that since the late 18th century anchored the dozens of mines that once operated here. “Why can’t they put the mine somewhere else?”

In another age, the worries of the Huichols might have been ignored, the new mine opened with little fanfare.

 

But the 1994 Maya uprising in southernmost Chiapas has sensitized many Mexicans to indigenous concerns and beliefs. Advocacy groups have flourished, pushing ecology and human rights and economic fairness. So the Huichol’s cause has gained strength as environmentalists, anthropologists, New Age devotees and protesters of the “occupy everything” stripe lined up behind it. Continue reading

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Huichol ‘cosmic portal’ peyote ceremonies threatened by silver mine

A guide from nearby town Real de Catorce walks on Cerro del Quemado mountain. On the top of the mountain are shrines and offerings left by the Huichol Indians during their ceremonies. The mountain is where the Huichol believe the sun was born, ending the universal darkness.

 
 
REAL DE CATORCE, Mexico — For the Huichol Indians, the desert mountains here are sacred, a cosmic portal with major mojo, where shamans collect the peyote that fuels the waking dreams that hold the universe together.

For a Canadian mining company, these same hills look like a billion dollars worth of buried silver. 

 

In a stark collision of cultures, the famously mystical Huichol are trying to stop a $100 million, 15-year mining project from starting this year. Their struggle comes as indigenous people from Alaska to the Amazon are rallying to protect not just their environment but also their cultures from decay.
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