Mexico is a country rich in history and culture. Much of the influence of the first peoples of Mexico can still be felt today. The diversity of those who call Mexico home is an oft overlooked facet of this great country. In the following article we will look at one particular group whose fascinating culture is sure to impress all who see it.
The Huicol (also known as the Wixaritari) is an artistic and fascinating native American culture in Mexico. They dwell in the enormous Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, which spans the regions of Nayarit, Jalisco, Zacatecsand and Durango.
The Huicol society is an artistic one. It is very easy to find their vibrant art in the coastal cities that reside beneath the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains. Common items for sale are usually religious arrows, archery sets, beaded art, woven goods, and sombreros. Their art is colorful and intricate, and visually very impressive.
The ingestion of the hallucinogenic peyote plant, a kind of cactus, is an important aspect of the religion of the Huicol. Images of the plant's seed pods can be found in most of their surreal art work. Once a year there is a religious pilgrimage that is undertaken to collect the peyote that they hold sacred. The eating of the peyote plant is always done in accordance with religious rites and traditions such as communicating with ancestors, singing and crying. Only careful consumption of peyote is ever undertaken and it is not done frivolously.
Presently, the Huicol face a precarious future. Large multinational companies are trying to develop the Huicole's traditional homeland and peyote collecting routes as they look for new resources to extract. The plight of the extremely peaceful Huicol has not escaped the concern of those who wish to protect the indigenous peoples of Mexico. The "Scientific and Cultural Organization" and "United Nations Education" are trying to save Huicol lands and protect them in the future from further attempts at development. The Huicol are doing their part too, by making efforts to save their lands and culture through educating those not familiar with their plight.
If you are already headed to Mexico, it would really add to the experience to visit these wonderful people and get a taste of their culture. The Huicol inhabit quite a wide region of Mexico, but two well serviced areas where they can be easily found (selling their unique crafts) are Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. If you are headed to Mexico in hopes of creating some lasting memories for yourself, then this experience is worth considering. The efforts you make to learn about their culture and the importance of its longevity will be greatly appreciated. An amazing people like this would be a travesty to lose.
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