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All results for tag “anthropology”
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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

Huichol art, a matter of survival IV: An art in evolution Ronald A. Barnett ©

Huichol art has come a long way since Carl Lumholtz first recorded it in the late 19th century It is moving from a strictly religious function to a commercialized folk art. Some items of Huichol art are definitely non-traditional, such as beaded eggs intended for Christmas decorations; others, such as masks of the sun and moon, are borderline traditional. Beaded Jaguar heads are an important symbol in Mesoamerican religion and by no means confined to the Huichol. The bead and yarn paintings are becoming more and more complex, with some risk of becoming more decorative than symbolic or religious. read more

Sacred places around us: Is Talpa a "power place"? Jenny McGill

 The Virgin of Talpa and her church by Guy Garber Guerrero
Quite by accident, I recently ran across a website that lists Talpa de Allende as a sacred power place. Martin Gray spent years visiting and photographing every place he heard was a sacred site, and one of his pilgrimages brought him to Mexico. Apparently, there are different types of sacred sites. Martin classifies Talpa as "miracle-work site." read more

Huichol art, a matter of survival III: Motifs and symbolism Ronald A. Barnett ©

Huichol art is even more prolific today than it was during the years 1890 to 1898 when Carl Lumholtz, the Norwegian explorer and ethnographer, first visited the Huichol and recorded their symbolic and decorative art in such remarkable detail that we are able to make direct comparisons between Huichol art then and now. The major difference is that today Huichol artisans have a much greater variety of imported and commercial materials with which to work, but many traditional designs and functions have been preserved to the present day. read more

Huichol art, a matter of survival II: Authenticity and commercialization Ronald A. Barnett ©

For years, many people have been predicting the ultimate demise of the Huichol (wii-zaari-taari) as a linguistic and cultural entity. This has not happened. They were first contacted by the Spaniards around 1530. Although many live near main community and religious centres, such as San Andres, Santa Catarina, and San Sebastian, most live in hundreds of small ranchos scattered throughout the Sierras.

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Huichol art, a matter of survival I: Origins Ronald A. Barnett ©

The authenticity of Huichol art on the market today becomes of some importance when called into question by no less an authority on the Indians of Mexico than the famous Mexican historian and anthropologist Fernando Benítez, who once described the popular Huichol yarn paintings as "...a falsification and an industry." read more

Huichol art: Religious or secular? Ronald A. Barnett ©

When does a tradition cease to be a tradition? Conversely, at what point in time and under what circumstances does a tradition begin? "Tradition" may be defined as "a statement, belief, or practice tr... read more

Did You Know? Quetzal Dancers in Puebla, Mexico Tony Burton

    The Quetzal Dance is one of the most colorful folkloric dances anywhere in the country. It is also thought to be one of the most ancient. Both the dance and the spectacular headdresses worn b... read more

Did you know? In Chiapas, Mexico's Mam turn to organic farming Tony Burton

Organic farming has helped some indigenous peoples in Mexico to reinvent themselves. How many people are there? According to INEGI figures, about six million Mexicans over the age of five speak at le... 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

Legends and lore of Oaxaca: A man named Crecencio Oscar Encines

A strange force descended upon Crecencio, giving him a supernatural power.

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The Mummies of Guanajuato: Powerful Memento Mori Ann Ball

A most unusual museum crowns the top of Trozado Hill in Guanajuato, Mexico. Its collection of objects - mummified human corpses - serves to provide funds for social assistance in the city, and as a pow... read more

A three mile stroll through Mexican history Allan Cogan

I’m going to sound like something of a museum freak – which I’m definitely not. There’s a limit to the amount of "tourism" I can handle when I’m travelling. My strict ration is one castle, or one cathedral or one stately home per day. All of which is my way of saying that by far the classiest, the biggest and the most elegant museum I’ve ever seen is in Mexico City - The National Museum of Anthropology. read more
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