by Patricia Liles, Center for Shamanic Education and Exchange Board Member
In 2017 we began our Wixárika (Huichol) five-year temple complex restoration project, in Las Latas, Mexico. The project, which focused on the restoration of a temple complex called Queaehruitea, along the ancestral pilgrimage route within the spiritually vital community of Wixaritari (Huicholes) has been completed and is entering a new phase.
We were honored to support the Tuapurie community jicareros (shamans) in renewing and rebuilding their sacred ceremonial site in the traditional manner, and also adding temple huts for spirits that appeared and asked to be honored during their ritual ceremonies.
The five-year cycle of ritual restoring of the sacred site is symbolic of renewing the community and making offerings for their harvests and hunts that feed the people in body and spirit.
New sandals were required to undertake the necessary ritual deer hunt on foot, so all were fitted for new hand made footwear.
Final months of the five-year cycle were spent in preparing for the new, incoming jicareros constructing intricate, hand-woven reed chairs for the men and woven mats for the women.
We have great respect for the Wixárika (Huichol) people and their long history and hope to continue supporting them in the preservation of their culture, practices, and traditional ways of life. In so doing, we anticipate the opportunity to fund a translation project of recorded interviews with wise elders of previous generations taped in the last century. It is a future hope of the people to create a center where the community can have easy access to the words, wisdom, and practices of their elders.