Autumn 2003 Newsletter

As we open this Web site to the public, we hope it will inspire respect and admiration for the Wixárika (Huichol) people, their culture, and their fine arts. Many of the images that we have posted, including examples of contemporary and traditional Huichol art, have never before been published. They offer an intimate view of life in the seclusion of the sierras and on pilgrimages to sacred sites that are honored by the Wixaritari.

The material on this site is divided into three separate topics: Art, Culture, and News, each of which has its own subheadings. Our gallery now exhibits five contemporary yarn painters and shows a few examples of each of their works. Also in the gallery, under the section titled Traditional Crafts, we have posted eight examples of very fine weavings. The page on embroidery should be completed and posted by the end of November.

Sacred Art opens with an essay titled “Nierika”, and under the Sculptures heading, we will be posting a representative selection of idols (memuute) and disks (teparite) sculpted by three shamans from volcanic stone. One of the memuute will be posted as a Quicktime movie so it can be manually rotated to allow viewing from all sides. At the bottom of this page is a link you can follow to download Quicktime free of charge.

Under the Culture heading, we have posted the essay “The Huichol: Wixárika,” and in the subsection devoted to History, you will find three additional essays: “Early History,” “Post-Hispanic History,” and “Recent History.” All are Adobe Acrobat files. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat on your computer, it can be downloaded free of charge by following the link at the bottom of this page.

The News section will be bilingual (Spanish and English), with links to press reports in Mexico as well as to independent sources in the field and to those Huichol who choose to participate. The News archives go back 32 years and follow the history of the Wixárika people’s struggle to preserve the integrity of their land. Getting it all organized, scanned, entered into the Wixárika database, and ultimately on-line will be a long-term project.

The Wixaritari who have seen this Web site expressed a strong interest in seeing more of the articles and essays in Spanish, and we will do our best to get as much of this material translated as possible. Watch this Newsletter home page for information about and links to all the most recent postings to this site.

We are grateful to be able to document these archives in the form of a database and search engine, to be made available through this Web site, and hope that our public will help support the continuation of this project through donations. We welcome your comments, your inquiries, and your suggestions as well as the participation of others in the field.