Way of Life
The Huichol are well known for their elaborate and brightly colored dress and artisan work. Most often, their beadwork and yarn paintings are based on important animals and gods from their religion, such as the jaguar, the deer, and fire.
Festivals and pilgrimages are typically defined by religious celebrations, such as the pilgrimage to collect peyote. This is a long journey and afterwards,with the help of a shaman, the people will hallucinate with the hopes of receiving visions from their gods. Another well known pilgrimage is centered around hunting for deer. The Huichol have preserved their culture and religion from outside factors well.
Typically the Huichol marry young, between 14 to 17 years old. In many communities the men are permitted to have more than one wife. Family is important and typically families build their homes around a communal kitchen where they cook a corn-based diet.
Religion: Ethnic Religion
Professing Christian: 5% Evangelical
(0.4% practicing Christianity)
Beliefs & Culture
The Huichol believe that the blue deer is a force that enables them to communicate with the sun god. Often their traditional authorities, a communal leadership structure which gives structure both in religion and in community, seek the blue deer for wisdom.
The peyote, a hallucinate plant, is also sought as a means of hearing a word from their gods. Other gods are the corn god, the deer, the eagle, and the sun. Other forces such as fire, rain, and wind are highly respected in their religion.
The shamans and traditional authorities speak into every aspect of life. It is common for there to be fear of sickness or even death if one deviates from these instructions. There is also a belief that a spirit of anger/deceit can overcome one and during that time they are not aware of what they are doing or why they are doing it.
The Huichol, aka Wirarika, have resisted outside religions, including Catholicism in the 1500s as well as more recently Christianity and other beliefs. Those who have chosen to follow Jesus are asked to leave their communities—resulting in a Huichol Christians losing their land, cattle, and homes.
The Work So Far
Through friendships we have been invited to visit Huichol villages. At first, this was through sponsoring children to have a graduation party from grade six, but continues to develop to educational and medical visits as well. We are working towards opening doors to engage in conversation about Jesus to see God heal those who are sick. We are also taking backpacks with school supplies to the Huichol.
We praise God for friendships in which Brave Heart Collective is able to sell their artisan handicraft work. We are praying for open doors to help more in their school system and other community projects.
Our international workers, the national church, and the local Huichol church are partnering together to ensure that the Huichol people have access to Jesus through projects such as a feeding program, and discussing opportunities for viable micro-businesses.
...to ensure that the Huichol people have access to Jesus.
How to Pray for the Huichol
Praise God for how He has made the Huichol. Ask God to reveal Himself to them through the creation around them. Ask God to give the Huichol contact with Christ followers who will speak boldly when the Spirit leads them.
We thank God for developing friendships with the Huichol. Pray that we will grow deeper in our friendships and live the reality of being discipled together in the Word of God.
Pray specifically for traditional author-ities who are against Christians visiting or speaking to their community. Pray that they will know the power and grace of Jesus Christ.