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Huichols and The Blue Deer Legend

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Mexican cultural richness is immense, in great part thanks to their indigenous tribes that are base to this country culture and history. We visit our friend Enrique Alejos, Cultural Concierge at the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, to learn more about this enigmatic culture and their traditions.

The Huichol community, or Wirrarika as they call themselves, is one of the tribes that remain true to their ancestral roots. Their cultural world is full of cosmic moons, suns, trees, animals, mazes, spins, mountains and oceans, a direct reflection of their customs and religion.

For the Huichol community, religion is a essential and central part on their lives. Their beliefs center around four principal deities: the trinity of Corn, Blue Deer and Peyote, and the eagle, all descended from their Sun God, “Tao Jreeku”. Huichols have traditionally used the peyote (hikuri) cactus in religious rituals. These rituals involve singing, chanting and contact with ancestral spirits. Their art is closely related to these rituals, as most of their work is a attempt to capture and record the visions and the messages they experienced and received from their deities during these rituals.

In this article we would like to share with you The Blue Deer Legend, a traditional Wirrarika tale that tells us about this deity and the importance to their community.

To learn more about the Huichol Culture, we invite you to read  “Huichol community, an ancestral culture surviving in a modern world.“

The Blue Deer Legend

The elderly told us that long time ago, high in the Huichol mountains, the grandparents reunited to discuss about their situation. Their people was sick, there was no wather or food, it wasn’t raining and land was dry. They decided to send four young men hunting, with the mission of bringing back any food that they were able to obtain to share them with the community, it didn’t matter if it was little or a lot. Each young man was representing an element: fire, water, air and earth.

Next morning, the young men started their journey, each one of them armed with their bow and arrows. They walked for days, until one afternoon, something jumped behind the bushes, it was a big fat deer. The young men were exhausted and hungry, but when they saw the deer, they forgot about everything and started running after it. The deer looked at them and felt compassion. He left them rest that night and next morning prompted to continue the hunting.

Many weeks passed by before arriving to Wirikuta (a Huichol sacred place at San Luis Potosí’s dessert). When the young men were walking on the hill, near the Narices hill, they saw the deer jumping on direction of where the Earth Spirit lives. They could swear they saw the deer running in that direction, and tried to find him without success. Suddenly, one of the men shot an arrow that felt inside a deer figure formed by peyote plants, that under the sun, they shined like emeralds do.

The young men were confused by what it just happened, but decided to cut the plants in shape of a Marratutuyari (deer) to take them to the village. After walking during several days, they arrived to the Huichol mountain, where everyone was waiting. Walking straight to the old men, they told them their experience. The elderly started to distribute peyote to the community, and after a while, they were no longer hungy or thirsty.

Ever since, Huichols adore peyote, which at the same time is deer and corn, a guiding spirit. And every year, they continue walking from the Huichol mountains to Wirikuta, keeping that same rout alive, to pray God for rain, food and health for their people.


About Enrique Alejos

For those who doesn’t know Enrique, he’s a very interesting man who has been in Punta Mita since its opening. He’s passionate about knowledge: culture, nature, languages, tequila, mole, whales, stars… you name it and he’ll have an interesting fact to share with you about it, and if you surprise him with a topic he doesn’t know, you can be sure he’ll surprise you back with a fast research and study, he loves learning and sharing his findings! Make sure you visit him at the Four Season Cultural Center next time you are in Punta Mita, he leads a series of regular lectures about different interesting topics, mainly related to Mexico. You can be sure that even after a short talk, you’ll learn something new about this wonderful country!