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Saint James and the Moors: Mexico's Tastoanes Carol Wheeler

Masked dancers take to the streets on July 25 to reenact an age old battle fought in Spain long before the conquest. The ceremonial tastoan (sometimes spelled tastuan) rituals come from the 12th century and were originally known as the dance of the Moors and the Christians. In Spain's version, the dance symbolizes the expulsion of the Moors by the Christians, while Mexico's variation is commonly interpreted as the representation of the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 1500s. read more

Mexico's Huichol resource page: their culture, symbolism, art Mexconnect Staff

Our guide to the Huichol people of Mexico: their culture, history and extraordinary art read more

The Peoples of Mexico Index Page

Mexico is a country of colour, diversity, grand differences in geography, climate and perspective. The same is true of her people. From the mysterious origins and fates of her earliest inhabitants; th... read more

Personal reminiscences of Mexico's Huichol people VII: Return from the Huichol sierra Ronald A. Barnett ©

I wandered out of town toward the rock-strewn single runway landing strip of San Andrés. Several Huichols were gathered at the side of the field with stacks of cardboard boxes beside them. They told me that the regular flight from Tepic was not due for several days, but that a single engine light aircraft was scheduled to arrive in a few hours. I checked my wallet and decided to throw myself on the mercy of the pilot, whoever he was, and offer him the few hundred pesos I had left for a flight out of the Huichol territory. read more

Indigenous languages in Mexico John P. Schmal

Little Maya girl
The most recent census count in Mexico reveals that a multitude of languages are used by Mexican nationals throughout the country.
It is true that the percentage of Mexicans who are speaking indigenous languages is steadily declining, but a great many people have held on to their mother tongues, sometimes taking it with them to other parts of Mexico.
The Mayan language is the second most commonly spoken language in Mexico... read more

Personal reminiscences of Mexico's Huichol people VI: Peyote Fiesta Ronald A. Barnett ©

Huichol man
The Huichol Peyote Fiesta takes place around the end of May or the beginning of June, the start of the traditional rainy season in Mexico. The main purpose is to assure that the rain gods return to refresh the earth and nourish the newly-sown crops of beans and maize. The Huichols are located in large community centers, such as San Andres and Santa Catarina, or in scattered ranchos throughout the sierras. The Peyote Fiesta I attended at the invitation of my friend Nacho was held at Las Guayabas, deep in the valley below the plateau of San Andres in the Huichol Sierra. read more

Personal reminiscences of Mexico's Huichol people IV: Ritual dance Ronald A. Barnett ©


Panoramic view of Teotihuacan looking south from the top of the Pyramid of the Moon. You can see the Pyramid of the Sun.
© Rick Meyer, 2001
In 1996, I attended the Fiesta de las Plantas Medicinales held that year in San Martin de los Piramides not far from the famous archaeological site of Teotihuacan with its pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. There was a feeling of great spiritual power in the air that day. read more

Anahuacalli: Diego Rivera's gift of indigenous treasures Anthony Wright

Legendary Mexican artist and master muralist Diego Rivera spent so much time avidly collecting pre-Hispanic art it's a wonder he ever got around to painting. Rivera amassed a collection of thousands of... read more

Did you know? Oaxaca is the most culturally diverse state in Mexico Tony Burton

The inter-census population count in Mexico in 2005 found that more than one million people in Oaxaca spoke at least one indigenous Indian language. Close behind came the state of Chiapas with about 95... read more

So Sings the Blue Deer: a book on Mexico's Huichol people Charmayne McGee

So Sings the Blue Deer is based upon the true story of the Huichol Indian's 600 mile pilgrimage to save the Earth from environmental destruction.

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Yarn painting - images of a vanishing culture Maria von Bolschwing

The Huichol Indians, whose pre-Hispanic culture still survives in the remote Sierra Madres ranges, live a life woven of magic and sacred mythology. Believing themselves to be that part of creation whic... read more

The Huichol Center for Cultural Survival

Susana Eger Valadez traveled to Mexico about 20 years ago while working on her Master of Arts Degree in Latin American Studies. She completed the degree from the University of California at Los Angeles... read more

Into a realm of spirits: a Native American sweat lodge ceremony kim kroonenburg

Coyote doesn't offer a word to guide us through this mysterious and arduous process. He leaves us to our own world, to our private vision quest. The sweltering heat of the lodge... read more

The Family That Carves Together.... Eliseo Castillo, Enedina Castillo Castillo Charles Dews

"Does your husband ever carve nudes," I asked Enedina Castillo Castillo, only half jokingly. She grinned up at me with those wise eyes. "Once he carved a David that looked like the one by Miguel Angel... read more

Huichol Art Rita Pomade

One of the perks of living at Lakeside is the ubiquitous exposure to the religious art of the Huichol people. The artwork, so vibrant in color and rich in symbolism, effortlessly draws the viewer into ... read more

Huichol Voices Christopher Jordan English

Summer solstice 2003 would be memorable. A local paper mentioned a Huichol vigil to be held near the shoreline of Mexico’s Lake Chapala at a site called Isla de los Patos. The ceremony was to peak on... read more

The Tarahumaras: An endangered species Shep Lenchek

Never conquered by the Aztecs and despite being defeated by Mexican armies, the Tarahumaras still consider themselves an independant nation. So strong is this conviction that in the Fifties they more t... read more

Mexico's Dance of the Sun: Danza del sol Sheila Forst Ruof

Every so often, an event or circumstance occurs which changes the way we think of ourselves, or our place in the universe. Today was a day like that. Late yesterday, a guest of my neighbor learned of ... read more

20 years visiting the Huichols Tom Meyers

High in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains of Mexico, northwest of Guadalajara, the Huichol Indians live in small villages called ranchos scattered throughout this remote, rugged terrain. They integ... read more

Huichol artwork: the ceremonial bowls Robert Otey

The ceremonial bowls or jícaras, as they are called, are made of gourds which are prized for their light weight and durability as water vessels and storage containers. The bowls hold visions and crea... read more

Comprehending shamanism in the Huichol world Dr. Thomas Pinkson

  Shamanism is humanity's oldest form of relationship to Spirit. As such, it is the underpinning beneath all religion. But shamanism is not a religion. It is a complex set of practices, beliefs, va... read more

The Huichol people of Mexico and their symbols Robert Otey

Deer. Maize. Peyote These are the most important symbols for the Huichol. They represent a culture in transition from hunting and gathering strategies to that of a sedentary agrarian lifestyle. read more

Huichol artwork: masks Robert Otey

The masks are like mirrors that reflect the patterns of face paintings worn during sacred ceremonies. The Huichol people understand themselves to be mirrors of the gods. The Huichol people believe tha... read more

Huichol artwork: celestial things Robert Otey

The eclipse has special meaning for the Huichol, because it represents the eclipse of July 11 1991 at 10:21 A.M. Pacific Coast time. This is the sixth sun according to the ancient Meso-American Calenda... read more

The Huichol of Jalisco and Nayarit Robert Otey

The Huichols are a hearty and enduring people numbering about 18,000, most of which live in the Jalisco and Nayarit, two rugged and mountainous states in North Central Mexico. They are descendents of ... read more
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