Monday, March 11, 2013

Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians

Huichol child collecting peyote
Huichol child collecting peyote

Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians, Hernan Vilchez' documentary about the Wixárika People and their struggle to preserve the sacred territory of Wirikuta - the destination of their annual peyote pilgrimage - is due for release April 2013 according to the Facebook page for the film. The plot outline reads:

Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians is a story about the mystical Wixárika People, one of the last pre-Hispanic alive cultures in Latin America, and their ongoing struggle against the mexican government and multinational mining corporations to preserve Wirikuta, their most sacred territory and home of the famous peyote cactus.

Since 2010, Canadian mining projects received the concessions to prospect the whole area, rich in silver and other valuable minerals. The company promises to create thousand of jobs for the needy villagers of the region, without contamination.

Nevertheless, the mining activities are seen by the Wixárika and their supporters as a great menace for the delicate biodiversity of this unique ecosystem, listed by the UNESCO as World Cultural and Natural Heritage.

An unequal and controversial fight from today that triggers the global debate between ancient cultural values, the exploitation of nature and the inevitable development of the peoples.

The official Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians website.


  1. Does it seem strange to anyone else that the Huichol cut their peyote so deep that they are unlikely to regrow? The Texas peyoteros cut at the right spot for regrowth, but most of the Huichol cut as deep as possible or take whole plants. I love Huichol art and enthnography, but I don't understand how they can be so irresponsible in their harvesting.

  2. people dont have any Idea how humble these people live. and how bad they get Treated. they shouldnt have to fight the Mexican government for there rights.

  3. I dont find it odd since they have way more area to harvest a d since peyote is so abundant, they hardly even worry about it. They have yet to commercialize there practices withe the use of peyote(unlike natives from the north) so because I dont see this happening anytime soon , neither do I see the overharvesting issue comming about since there has been no commercial interest there.

  4. Thanks for sharing all this information. I really enjoy reading your blog. Especially the growing and cultural background combinations is very cool.

    I just started growing lophopharas and already grew trichocereus cacti for a couple of years.

    I'm in the same climate area as you are and also want to experiment with the best outdoor winter conditions.

    I got myself a lot of 4-5 cm single heads and also some clusters.

    Hope to see the april updates soon.


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