Shaman's Mirror, 2-3





p. 19 /Wic^ol/ ("Huichol") & /Wis^arika/

"Early Spanish documents record different versions of this name, such as

Xurutes, Uzares, Vizuritas (Rojas 1992, 23),

Guisol, Usulique (P. Furst 1996, 40), and

Tecual or Tec,ol (Anguiano 1992, 170-172).

{Very likely, some of this names may be puns; whether in Wic^ol itself, or in other AmerIndian languages.}

The Huichol name for themselves is Wixa`rika {= /Wic^ol/ + /-ika/ =? /-ka/ 'habitual' (infra p. 42)}. ... Carl Lumholtz (1900, 6) ... translated their name as "prophets" or "healers"; more recently, Liffman (2002, 40) translates it as "diviners.""

Rojas 1992 = Beatrix Rojas (ed.) : Los Huicholes. Mexico City : SEP, CIESAS, INI.

Furst 1996 = Peter T. Furst : "Myth as History, History as Myth". In :- Schaefer & Furst (edd.) : People of the Peyote. Albuquerque : U of NM Pr. pp. 26-60.

Anguiano 1992 = Marina Anguiano : Nayarit. Mexico City : U Nac Aut de Mexico.

Lumholtz 1900 = Carl Lumholtz : Symbolism of the Huichol Indians. NY : Amer Mus of Natural History.

Liffman 2002 = Paul M. Liffman : Huichol Territoriality. PhD diss, U of Chicago.

p. 20 migration-myth of the Wic^ol/Wis^arika

"originated in the south;

as they wandered northward, they got lost under the earth, but

{A portion of the Zulu migration-myth (IMP) was conducted underground, through caverns.}

reappeared in the country of the hikuli; that is, the central mesa of Mexico, to the east of their present home" (Lumholtz 1902, 2:23).

IMP = Vusamazulu Mutwa : Indaba, My People. Blue Crane Bks, Johannesburg.

Lumholtz 1902 = Carl Lumholtz : Unknown Mexico. 2 voll. NY : Charles Scribner's Sons.

p. 21 geography

"The Huichol's present home lies astride the Sierra Madre Occidental, which runs down the Pacific coast of Mexico. ... The Ri`o Grande de Santiago (also known as Ri`o Lerma) flows north{westward} out of Lake Chapala and cuts through

the heart of the mountains.

{allusion to Tepe-yollotl?}

Just north of Tepic [as per p. 23, Map 2.1], the river makes a sharp {oblique} turn to the west, flows through ... Santiago Ixcuintla, and empties into the Pacific Ocean."

pp. 21-2 communities

p. 21

"A large part of the Huichol nation lives in northern Jalisco {S^alisko (formerly written "Xalisco")} ... . There are three communities, named

Tateikie, or San Andre`s;

Tuapurie, or Santa Catarina; and

Wautu:a, or San Sebastia`n. ...

The three communidades are subdivided into five governing districts {including} :

... Ocotla`n (Xatsitsarie) ... and

Tuxpan (Tutsipa) ... .

Phil Weigand (1981, 20) estimates that these five districts are further subdivided into about twenty temple districts. The temples (Hui. : tuki) are centers of ceremonial activity.

Weigand (1972, 7-8) refers to the three Sierra

p. 22

communities as the Chapalagana Huichol ... . The Chapalagana River (also known as the Atenco River) flows into the Huaynamota River ... . ...

There are also a number of Huichol communities in Nayarit along the western edge of the Sierra and in the foothills leading down to the city of Tepic, particularly along the Santiago River. ... Huichol may have always {i.e., ever since the prae-Columbian epoch} lived in the foothills, since archival sources show that these communities were ... populated with Huichol during the Spanish colonial era (Rojas 1992, 12-15, 22). ...

In the 1990s, ... the governor of Nayarit, set aside a section of land on the outskirts of Tepic to form a Huichol colonia ... called Zitacua".

Weigand 1981 = Phil C. Weigand : "Differential Acculturation among the Huichol Indians". In :- Hinton & Weigand (edd.) : Themes of Indigenous Acculturation in Northwest Mexico. Tucson : U of AZ Pr. pp. 9-21.

Weigand 1972 = Phil C. Weigand : Co-operative Labor Groups in Subsistence Activities among the Huichol Indians ... . MESOAMERICAN STUDIES, 7. Carbondale : Southern IL U Mus.





p. 25 guardian-deities of the cardinal directions


its praesiding deity


"Wirikuta, the sacred desert ... where peyote grows"


"Haramara, the goddess of the Pacific Ocean"


"Otata ..., located on a mountain called Auromanaka, or Cerro Gordo, in Durango"


"Ta Selieta ..., located in Rapawiyeme, or Lake Chapala, in Jalisco"

p. 26 rain-goddesses; the Earth

"Rain mothers, in the form of serpents, live in the springs, lakes, and oceans. When properly ... encouraged by means of prayers ..., the rain mothers ... bring life-giving rains ... .

The earth is flat and square, and is surrounded by oceans. It is supported at the four corners -- by ... trees."

p. 26 deities

"The gods are {honorifically} our ancestors - the kakauyari.

The earth and the water are {honorifically} our mothers, our elder sisters.

The fire is {honorifically} our grandfather. We call him Tatewari.

The sun is {honorifically} our father. We call him Tayau. ...

The deer is {honorifically} our elder brother; we call him Tamatsi Kauyumari. He is the interpreter, the translator for the gods. It is very hard to hear and understand the gods. Tamatsi Kauyumari tells us their messages.

Tatei Niwetsika is the mother of corn {maize}. Her daughters are the spirits of the different colors of corn {maize}. She was once our mother-in-law. One of her daughters married a Huichol man and freely gave him endless quantities of corn {maize}, without his having to do any plantiug. Unfortunately, the man's mother ... demanded that the corn {maize} girl start ... grinding her own flesh -- made of corn {maize} -- on the metate ... . A great wind sprang up, and all the corn {maize} vanished from the granaries".

p. 27 important gods

"Tatewari, Our Grandfather Fire;

Tau (or Tayau), Our Father the Sun; and

Tamatsi Kauyumari, Our Elder Brother the Deer, a messenger of the gods."

pp. 27-8 important goddesses

p. 27

"Takutsi Nakawe, Grandmother Growth (literally "Our Elder Sister" Nakawe), goddess of earth ...,

[p. 254, n. 3:3 : "the translation of "Takutsi Nakawe" as "Grandmother Growth" is poetic license {namely, alliterative [/gr-/] play-of-words, in English} on the part of Lumholtz, ... in English. ... my consultants translate kutsi as "elder sister" rather than "grandmother," which would make Takutsi Nakawe's status as "Our Elder Sister Nakawe," comparable to Tamatsi Kauyumari, or "Our Elder Brother Deer.""]

as well as Our Mothers (Hui. : Tatei teima), who include

Tatei Werika Uimari, Our Young Mother Eagle Girl, who holds the world in her claws;

Tatei Yurianaka, goddess of fertility and crops (sometimes called Tatei

p. 28


Tatei Niwetsika, the Mother of Maize;

Tatei Nu:aariwama, goddess of lightning and storms".

p. 28 goddesses of natural bodies of water

"Tatei Matinieri, a spring in the desert north of San Luis Potosi;

Tatei Rapawiyeme, located in Lake Chapala, south of Guadalajara; and

[p. 254, n. 3:4 : "there was some discussion among Huichol elders about whether ... Tatei Rapawiyeme should be located in Lake Chapala or at a site further south{west} in the state of Colima". {Is this the locale whence the Wic^ol "originated in the south" (supra p. 20)? The Quechua of Peru claim to have originated from an island in a lake, Lake Titicaca.}]

Tatei Haramara, the Pacific Ocean at the town of San Blas, Nayarit."

pp. 28-9 pilgrimage to Wirikuta

p. 28

"The pilgrims leave their homeland ... and travel 400 miles ... northeast to the desert north of San Luis Potosi`. In the past, when the pilgrims walked, the journey took about

p. 29

forty-three days (Lumholtz 1902, 2:126). ... Pilgrims may leave offerings at Reunar, the volcano that is the birthplace of the sun, and bring peyote and sacred water {holy water} back with them for use in ceremonies ... .

Peyote is eaten by participants ... . ...

{partaken as Eucharist, transsubstantiated body of the divine deer : "Peyote has the power to transform into deer" (p. 29).}

The pilgrimage to Wirikuta is undertaken to re-create the world.

It ensures that the sun continues to rise ... .

{The Aztec likewise piously partook of a Eucharist in order to assure " that the sun continues to rise" -- a Eucharist consisting of cooked human flesh.}

... the original pilgrimage was made by the kakauyari, ... gods of the Huichol. The gods started at the Pacific Ocean and travelled east on their way to a fiesta in Wirikuta. Some gods ... stopped along the way; they were transformed into mountains ... . ... The modern pilgrims re-create the original journey made by the kakauyari and visit the sacred siteswhere the gods stopped."

pp. 30-1 practitioners of shamanry

p. 30

"The shaman ... passed his feathers over the patient, shaking them lightly, and then peered into his mirror. He paused, went to the window, and stood there for a few minutes ... listening for something. ... Finally, he pounced on the patient and, with loud hawking noises, suck something out of his body, then went to the window and spat it out."

p. 31

"The word for shaman is mara>akame (plural : mara>akate)."

p. 32 qualification for shamanry by fulfillment of sacred vows

"People become mara>akate in Huichol culture by making vows to certain deities and fulfilling their {thus-acquired} obligations for the deities for a prescribed number of years. ... Failing to complete ... may bring illness or death ... . A shaman is someone who has "completed," or fulfilled, the vows ... . It is the spirits who finally decide whether a person will be granted shamanic power. An aspiring shaman {candidate aspiring to shamanhood} can carry out all the prescribed tasks but still fail. One way to become a mara>akame is by making a prescribed number of pilgrimages to Wirikuta. ... Some Huichol consultants have told me that up to ten or twelve years are required."

pp. 33-4 praeternatural powers of a shaman

p. 33

"see colors {aurai} and lights around people's bodies, which help the mara>akate divine those persons' spiritual development and the state of their health;

see through people['s bodies] (and their clothes) as though they were transparent, like a bottle;

see illness and its cause, inside a person (for example, seeing illness as a moth circling around a person's stomach);

see gods or spirits who may be attending ceremonies are taking part in human activities;

p. 34

soar into the sky {into outer space} and see the world as though it were very small, and then focus in on activities taking place elsewhere;

see into the ocean as though the the water were lit up by a searchlight, and communicate with the underwater people {Undines?} who live there;

communicate with powers located in the cardinal directions and sacred sites, see colors emanating from those sites, and understand them."

p. 34 degrees of praeternatural perception

"Some can see only with the help of peyote, while others can see without it. Some can see all the time, and

some only under certain circumstances, such as during a ceremony, when the mara>akame helps by opening the door to the other world.

{The authoress herself (H.M.) was limited in this way.}

Some can hear rather than see.

Some perceive through other means, such as dreams or thought".

p. 34 diagnosticians who are not curers

"I know of one man who was considered consistently visionary but who was not considered a shaman because

he lacked the courage to act on what he saw.

{Though willing to diagnose patients, he was unwilling to attempt to cure them.}

Benitez (1975, 84) also mentions an aspiring mara>akame {aspirant (candidate) to the office of mara>akame} who lacked the necessary boldness and self-confidence.

Another aspiring shaman {aspirant to shamanhood} told me that he had developed the ability to see what was wrong with people, but

the gods had not yet told him what to do about it."

{This is a frank admission; for curing is more difficult to accomplish than is diagnosing.}

Benitez 1975 = Fernando Benitez (transl. by John Upton) : In the Magic Land of Peyote. Austin : U of TX Pr.


Hope MacLean : The Shaman's Mirror : Visionary Art of the Huichol. U of TX Pr, Austin, 2012.