Huichol shamanism: traditional wisdom in a modern world
Chamanismo huichol: sabiduría tradicional en un mundo moderno
This article explores the ancient tradition of shamanism and its many facets in Huichol Indian culture. The Huichol Indians (Wixárika, Wixáritari pl.) live predominately in the Mexican states of Jalisco and Nayarit in their remote mountain homelands of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Their shamans have been vital keepers of ancient esoteric knowledge and leaders, healers, and diviners for their people. The shamanic tradition is passed down primarily through family kin ties. The path to becoming a shaman and the plants and animals that are shamanic allies will be discussed. This is followed by an examination of the shaman’s power objects and the wide array of specialties acquired. Finally, the article addresses the challenges to shamans in the 21st century and their crucial role to the survival of Huichol culture and identity.
Keywords: shaman, Huichol, Wixárika, peyote, tobacco, solandra, Mexico.
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