Texts and photos by Totupica Candelario
(translated by Daniela Guraieb, notes by Humberto Fernández – CHAC)
Harianaka. In the language of the ancestors, it means “Moon”. [Whereas its common name in Huichol is “metzeri”].
According to the maraakate, when the ceremonial centers [tuquipa] were created they had few elements [gourd bearers]. And each ceremonial center has been brought up according to the demands that the ancestors keep asking.
For instance, in the case of Harianaka, recently created in the ceremonial center of “Las Latas”, it is said that in previous years the Moon had been asking for a gourd within this ceremonial center. However, the previous groups of gourd bearers had been postponing it because creating a new gourd means creating a new position, therefore, having a new element as a gourd bearer [and many obligations that come with it].
The position of “Harianaka” was created in 2018. According to the urukwekame [the leader or main guide of the gourd bearers], “the Moon” was asking to be represented in this ceremonial center, therefore, a couple was searched for in order to fulfill this new position. In 2019, the woman in this position got gravely sick, and when the maraakame had her checked, he said that she got sick because of her position. In other words, the Moon was asking her to make a ceremony, and also to make a xíriki. And that is how this position of “Harianaka” with her own xíriki was born.
In the three ceremonial centers of the Tuapurie community the number of gourd bearers varies.
- In the ceremonial center of “Las Latas” there are 25 gourd bearers [plus their couples, the main leaders and other positions].
- In the ceremonial center of “Xawepa” there are 28 gourd bearers [plus their couples, the main leaders and other positions].
- And in the ceremonial center of “Tuapurie”, there are 29 [plus their couples, the main leaders and other positions].
If we compare them, each center has the five main positions: Tayau, Tamaatsi, Tatewarí, Nariwame and Keemuka. The other positions vary. For example, in Xawepa there is the “Niwetsika” gourd (which refers to maize) and there is also the position of “Haramara” (which refers to the ocean). On the other hand, in “Las Latas” there are not such positions or gourds. If we compare them with the ceremonial center of “Tuapurie” we will find other variations.