The Huichol, or Wixátari (Huichol pronunciation: “Wirikuta”), originated in the State of San Luis Potosí but later migrated westward to parts the Sierra Madre areas of Jalisco, Nayarit, Durango and the desert of Zacatecas. Once yearly, some Huichol journey back to San Luís Potosí, their ancestral homeland to perform “Mitote” Peyote (Hikuri, in Wixarika) ceremonies. According to carbon dating records, the Huichol civilization extends as far back as 15,000 years. More recently, many reports trace their heritage back to the Aztecs.
From the soil the Huichols get the staple food of their diet, maize (corn). Toward the end of each spring, the Huichol men flock to the fields to begin the planting process. In summer, when the rains come, they live on their farms in tiny hamlets and make cheese from the milk from their cattle. Later in the fall season the Huichol men and their sons return to the crops to harvest the maize, but first perform a ceremony thanking the forces of nature for healthy crops and a prayer for continued harvests in the future.
The Huichol live in the mountains above Mazatlán (Sierra de Nayarit) and other coastal tourist meccas, as well as cities such as Gudalajara, and are able to sell their crafts as another means of income. From the small beaded eggs and jaguar heads to the modern detailed yarn paintings in psychedelic colors, each is related to a part of Huichol tradition and belief.
Their religion consists of four principal deities, the trinity of Corn, Blue Deer and Peyote, and the eagle, all descended from their Sun God, “Tao Jreeku”. Because the Huichols view themselves as descendants of the earth, all aspects of their life are dedicated to ensure that nature will be appeased and remain in balance. For the Huichol Indians of western Mexico, the inseparable bond with the land remains strong through rituals and ceremonies designed to ensure a balance between themselves and the forces of nature from which they credit their origins. (Source: academics.hamilton)