February 13, 2012
Hundreds of Wixárika pilgrims traveled last week from their homes in the Western Sierra Madre mountains to Wirikuta, expressing their united determination to save this most sacred place. Wearing ceremonial dress and bearing gifts and offerings, they traversed the path of their ancestors to the place where the sun first rose, Wirikuta. Customarily, small groups of Wixárika people (better known by their name in Spanish, Huichol) travel the pilgrimage route on their own. This year, though, Wirikuta is threatened by mining companies who want to extract gold and silver buried deep beneath the surface of their sacred mountain. Facing such a challenge to their ancient culture, the Wixárika people organized a unified pilgrimage to seek the aid of their ancestors’ spirits in protecting the sacred site.
Thanks to independent journalist Tracy L. Barnett for permission to post her photographs. See her articles in the links below.
See the following video on the pilgrimage:
Please join Cultural Survival in sending letters and emails to Mexico’s president, urging him to take immediate steps to permanently protect Wirikuta and respect the rights of the Wixárika people.