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symbols along the pathway

indicate

the

ceremonial teros, make

stops along

the pilgrims, or their journey.d

peyo-

grimage

is one

of three

major

cere-

monies

celebrated

by the

Huichols

dur-

As noted previously,z

the peyote pil-

ing gist the year. Barbara According G. Myerhoff to anthropolo- University of , Los Angeles, their deified Southern Huichols California, believe that the an-

cient ancestors,

the First People,

once

however,

the First

People

were driven

out into

a

mortal,

agrarian

existence in

dwelled freedom

in Wirikuta as nomadic

in harmony hunters. 5 Ages

and ago ,

the

year,

Sierra

Madre

Occidental.

Myerhoff

states,

“small

“Every groups of

Huichols—men

and women,

young and

old—are

in a return (p. 56)

led

to

by a mam ukame

Wirikuta

to

hunt

[shaman] peyote. ”s

The WC-mile round

trip to Wirikuta

takes several weeks. To cred land, thepeyoteros

reenter their sa- must, through a

complex series

of rituals

nies, transform

themselves

and into

ceremo- deities.

5

This entails ritual bodily functions, help the pilgrims

fasting and minimizing such as sleeping, to shed their humanity.

At specific locations along the journey, they also adopt more and more of their

divine identities.

They

haviors and assume

tudes

attributed

to

the the

reenact the feelings and First People.

be- atti-

The journey begins at the tuki, or tem-

ple, pictured

as the triangular

object on

the far left of the first panel

,

near the tail

of

the serpent

are

gathered

(Figure around

2). The pilgrims

Tatewari,

Our

Grandfather

Fire: “All of them are pre-

paring

their packs,

in

which

they will

carry

the peyote,

Rios

Martinez

writes.6 “They meet in the house of the

mara ukame, them. ”

who

has

been

awaiting

The ed by during

trip to a ritual which

Wiriiuta

is always preced-

confession

around

a fire,

each

pilgrim

is

spiritually

During this

ritual,

the members

of the

expedition

step

forward

and

confess

cleansed

in

preparation

for the journey.

their sins; the sin by tying a

mara‘akame records

each

knot

in

a

cord.

When

all

have

confessed,

the

cord

is

tossed

into

177

the and fire and renamed the as participants one of their are reborn ancient dei- the pilgrims ties.’2.d.S After confessing , for the journey, gather provisions in-

cluding gifts for the gods. “They all carry different offerings for each god,” Emete- ria writes. “Each one of them also carries

a feather the eagle

[the symbol of the hawk and , birds sacred to the sun god] to

offer the gods. They carry these things in

order to be spiritually ri”e,’%

full when they ar-

For the peyote

hunt

the

pilgrims must have

and

loyalty to

both the

one

another.6

Indeed,

complete

accord

and

to be successful, complete trust in mara ‘akame and unless all are in unconditionally

may

also

lose

their

souls:

beset

by

evil

spirits

and

the journey

is

demons

intent

they will but they

give their hearts to one another, not only fail to find any peyote

,

on turning the peyo~ero~ away. Only

mara ‘akame, who pects of Tatewan,

has assumed the and the strength

the as- of

the pilgrims’ bonds to one tect them from the dangers ney.

another pro- of the jour-

just In Figure such 3 , an obstacle-Kieri, the pilgrims

encounter

the evil

Tree of

the Wind

(the gray

shape

adorned

with green

and yellow

rods).

Myerhoff and anthropologist Furst, State University of

Peter T. New York

Universit y,

Cambridge,

is actually

jimsonweed

Mu-

(SUNY), Albany, seum of Harvard note that Kieri

and the Botanical

(Dafura inoxia), a hallucinogenic

plant

of the nightshade

family; 7 unlike peyote,

however,

it is poisonous,

making

those

who

use it sick

and

giving them,

the Hui-

chols

believe,

evil

visions.~ (p.

161) Ac-

cording a great Tamatz

to Huichol myth, Kieri was once

sorcerer

who

was

defeated

by

Kauyumari,

Our

Elder

Brother

Deer,

with the aid of peyote.

“The pil-

grims

conf rent

many

dangers,”

Rios

Martinez

writes

,

“but they continue

move

forward.

The

pilgrims

need

clear

their

consciences

well,

so a

to to s to

avoid or pass by the dangers the evil spirit puts in their way; the evil spirit will

leading

the way

and clears

a spiritual

die when it sees the pilgrims

The

mara akame

cleanses

the

area

push on.”~

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