Wirikuta

Wirikuta is one of the most sacred territories of the cosmogony of the indigenous Wixarika (pronounced wirrarica, huicholes) since according to their beliefs the creation of the world happened in that place. It belongs to the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí, part of the municipalities of Catorce, Charcas, Matehuala, Villa de Guadalupe, Villa de La Paz and Villa de Ramos.

In that area the Wixarika believe the sun came out for the first time and inhabit the deities and ancestral spirits, therefore, they consider that every natural element that inhabits in Wirikuta is equally sacred. One of the most sacred rites is the pilgrimage to Wirikuta.

Each year, the Huichol maraka’ames (shamans) pilgrimage from the Wixarika region in Jalisco to San Luis Potosí, about 400 km away, as a way to recreate this mythical walk. Currently the route is supported by various means of transport. The first part of the pilgrimage is to walk to Takata, a sacred territory in the Madre Oriental, where the jicareros (xuxuricare or guardians of the temples) who will be pilgrims will ask that they have a good way. From there they will go to a kalihuey, a major temple where they will prepare with other Wixarika authorities to walk to Wirikuta.

One of his tasks in this pilgrimage is to collect peyote (hikuri). That is why they are also known as “peyoteros” (hikuritamete). But it is only right to use this term when they are already on the way back, when they have already become peyote. And this culture follows an animistic logic; that is to say, between them the transformation into animal or plant is possible and relatively easy. According to what is known as a multinaturalist ontology, all living beings are human and can change appearance, skin, but not soul. So in wixaritari practices, one does not eat peyote, one becomes hikuri.

Since 1998, it has been part of the UNESCO World Natural Sites Network.

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