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Historic pilgrimage of the Wixárika

The threat of loosing their most sacred place to Canadian mining has brought together the Wixárika (Huichol) from different States of Mexico for a unprecedented collective prayer in Wirikuta.

The Huffington Post reports: “The Wixarika… hope to gain some insights in a historic “spiritual consultation” regarding the threats to their most sacred site, Wirikuta. The Huicholes have made their millennial pilgrimages to Wirikuta since the beginning of their history, and see it as their holiest altar of prayer, the place where they come to hunt their sacramental cactus, the peyote, and the place where the sun was born; but this protected reserve is the target of Canadian mining companies and agroindustrial businesses that see it as a resource to exploit.”

This historic day was yesterday and we are still waiting for the report back of those who were there. To show solidarity with this cause, the Wixarika invited people in Mexico City to accompany them in the Zocalo to dance and to pray. Several hours later a smaller group, that endured the cold and the rain, finished the activity, yet again, in front of the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City.

The Huffington Post notes the importance of the convergence of the Wixárika: “Anthropologist Paul Liffman, author of Huichol Territory and the Mexican Nation, called the pilgrimage “unprecedented in recent history — maybe unprecedented, period.” Normally the pilgrims organize their annual journeys to Wirikuta individually, and each of the more than 500 ceremonial centers sends their own group of maraka’ames (shamans) and jicareros (guardians of the sacred sites) over the course of the year. This mass pilgrimage and ceremony is a response to what they see as a mortal threat to their culture, Liffman said. It’s also a result of the logistical and financial support of the civil society and a growing awareness of the media.”

To read the article by the journalist and movement supporter Tracy L. Barnett go to

To understand the meaning of this unprecedented event see A Survey on Wixárika Tradition