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path for the pilgrims following behind.

Once the pilgrims pass the Tree of the Wind, they have successfully skirted all the dangers awaiting them.~ In Figure 4,

they come

to the mountain

bolized

by

the two deer

peak, heads,

sym- that

marks

the threshold

of the gods—the

first will

of many sacred offer sacrifices.

altars

at which

It is

here that

are met by yellow and

the double-headed green bird between

eagle the

they they (the two

deer heads), the messenger of the sky, and Kauyumari,

of the gods the repre-

sentative

of the gods of the earth.’t

In Figure 5, the pilgrims

the the

sacred large,

land of Winkuta, red-and-yellow,

finally enter signified by free-form

shaped They eat some dust scraped from the desert floor to prepare their tongues to speak the language of the gods. Of this scene, Rios Martinez writes: “The gods offer the pilgrims many things, such as magic silver. They

also offer them good luck in the

peyote hunt and sicknesses. Each

the knowledge pilgrim receives

coming to cure gifts of

the gods quests.”~

according

to his or her re-

The pilgrims encounter asipovica (Figure 6), who

the god Tam- fulfills all their

worthy aware heavens

desires. ~ The eagle becomes of this and descends from the on white wings and clouds. The

eagle hears

the

words of the

mara’-

akame, who

leads

the pilgrims,

and re-

ceives These

the sacrifices offerings are

of the peyoferos.

symbolized

by

the

dark circle to the left of the eagle; they

are also received

by Kauyumari,

repre-

sented by the horned,

aqua-colored

cir-

cle

decorated

with

ers

in Figure

5.’t He

four white

stream-

transmits

their

sacri-

fices to

the other

streamers

descending

gods. The white from the top of the

scene in Figure 6 represent

the gifts from

the gods. If all the ceremonial

thoughts

and ac-

properly

performed,

which

the Huichols

tions are

then the

peyote,

believe

springs

from the tracks

of Kauyuman,

will allow itself to be

camps

upon

arriving

found.~ The in Wirikuta,

party and

the mum deer. To

‘akame then the right of

stalks

the

peyote-

the

double-headed

178

eagle (Figure 6), they discover the peyo te for which they have been searching.

Myerhoff—who,

with

lowed

to

accompany

Furst, a band

was al- of peyo-

to

Wiri-

then

cer-

is

pilgrimage the peyote

teros on

their

kuta—writes

that

e menially “slain” with a bow and “The peyoteros weep with joy at

attained

their

goal and

with

grief

ing slain

their

brother.”~

(p.

57)

arrow. having at hav-

The peyote “bones’’-the

is roots

cut

away

and saved

that

the

peyote-deer

dug up and the of the cactus—are for burial later so

can be reborn. s

The

cactus is then

cut

into segments

by

the

mara akame,

who

gives a slice

to

each of the pilgrims;

in turn, one of

the to by

pilgrims then administers a the maraakame. In the yarn

segment painting

Rios Martinez, as they partake

the pilgrims have visions of the peyote (Figure 6),

perceiving ens: four

it as it

is seen

yellow

circles

from the heav-

surrounding

a

larger,

inner

circle.

Each

pilgrim,

how-

ever, perceives

it in a slightly different

way, for each has a unique vision. At the far right of Figure 6, the large, green cir- cle is the symbol of the pilgrims. ~

The moment

when

the pilgrims

first

share peyote

marks the fulfillment

of the

highest

goals

in

the

Huichol

religious

transformed

themselves

into deities,

and

communed

with their

gods.

The

path

Iife.s They

have

traveled

to paradise,

from their houses to the sacred lands be-

gins and ends t o s a y , i t h a in the same place~—that is beginning and end. no no s Thus, the serpent symbolizing way takes on a connotation the path- found in

Western

cultures:

that of

Ouroboros,

a

dragon

or serpent

with

its tail in

its

mouth,

continually

devouring itself

and

being

reborn

from

itself.9 Found in

the

mythologies

of both

it symbolizes Greece , cycle of destruction boros also inspired

ancient

Egypt and

Nature’s

perpetual

and rebirth. Ouro- nineteenth-century

German kuE von

chemist

Friedrich

August

Stradonitz

to

conceive

of

Ke- the

benzene molecule bon atoms.q

as a ring of linked car-

Like Ouroboros,

which is its own be-

ginning and its own end, the road the pil- grims take is always open for them to go

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