Marakame Antonino, 90, a medicine man from the Wixarkuta Nation in Mexico’s Sierra Madre Occidental, will be leading a Houcholi Ceremony at Nosara Retreat on Saturday night, September 13. He is fighting to preserve an ancestral pilgrimage to the Wirikuta Desert, under threat by a Canadian mining company supported by the Mexican government.
Antonino has been visiting Costa Rica since 2012 creating “a brotherhood of all people of all nations to protect the sacred lands.” Antonino’s ceremonies are authentic and heartfelt. His simplicity, unassuming natural joy and ease are infectious. He is dearly beloved by his people and all who come in contact with him. He travels and leads ceremonies with his extended family in service to the cause of protecting the sacred land of Wirikuta.
A helpful description of the tradition of the Huicholi people is offered ….
“Long before nations like Mexico, the United States, and Canada existed, my people, the Wixárika Nation (known as Huicholi), were the original inhabitants of this land. And long before we were here, our creators, Grandfather Fire, Grandmother Growth, Father Sun, the Rain Mothers, Elder Brother Deer, Brother Wind and other universal spiritual forces created the Wixárika universe. Our marakames (medicine men) and legends tell us that the creators made many races of people, but the Wixárika were specially appointed to be the intermediaries between the spirit realm and the human world. This sacred appointment has been passed from generation to generation for centuries, and is the guiding principle of our past, present, and future lives.
The Wixárika people believe that it is our sacred obligation to be the caretakers of our creators. After our harvest ceremonies, we embark on pilgrimages to far off sacred places, the most important of which is Wirikuta, 500 kilometers away, located in Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosi.
The history of the Wixárika people is an oral one so the most important factor in our art is that we can keep our stories that have been passed down from generations for thousands of years. Through our artwork we are able to express a visual aspect of our stories, since our stories are told in our native language and people are not able to understand them unless we put them in visual forms. We have the yarn paintings, the beaded sculptures, and embroidery. Many of the people I work with, when they are creating artwork, they go into a meditative state. They channel the songs of the gods and then they manifest the songs of the gods through art. Our creativity and the techniques we use are special and unique to the Wixárika.”https://www.culturalsurvival.org/publications/cultural-survival-quarterly/saving-wirikuta-my-peoples-struggle-protect-sacred-place
You may be familiar with some of the exquisite pieces of art, both beaded paintings, sculptures, and yarn paintings done by Huicholi artists. These are the more widely known expression of a deep abiding sacred connection that continues through their unbroken lineage of centuries. The ceremonies are a central source of their simple yet inspired way of life that can teach us much in this age of consumerism, modernization and disconnection from our own deeper beings and interconnectedness with each other and to all of nature.
The ceremonies are profoundly healing, transformative and heart opening, a gift of awakening to our path and deeper calling. We invite you to participate in this unique and precious offering. The ceremonies are very relaxed, informal events. You are free to express your body and mind. There will be singing and chanting and possibly dancing.