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Paul Hillman

Huichol and Spanish Glossary

Huichol - (wee chol)
"feather healing people," a native culture from Mexico living in the states of Nayarit and Jalisco, straddling the Sierra Madre Occidental mountains upon inhospitable areas, covering about 15,000 square miles. They are a population of 25,000 - 35,000 people.
Jicara - (he kart a)
name of Huichol beaded bowls in Spanish, Rakure in Huichol
Kuka - (kook khan)
meaning beauty, refers to beaded three-dimensional objects
Kapuri - (kook poor reed)
life force
Marakama - (ma rah ka may)
special leader of the Huicholes, male or female
Nierika - (nee are eel khan)
a small square tablet with a hole in the center that symbolizes giving thanks or particular wishes; the hole is a symbol of a doorway to the invisible realm. Nierikas are found in all Huichol sacred places such as temples, caves and springs. They are used to petition the deities.
Peyote - (pay yo teh)
special cactus of the Huicholes; used as inspiration for their artwork; symbol of life, good fortune and enlightenment, gift of the deities. Annual pilgrimages are taken to Wirikuta to collect the peyote.
Rakure - (ra kook ray)
the Huichol name of beaded prayer bowls used in offering to the deities by the Huichol. Before the Spanish invasion bone, clay, coral, jade, pyrite, shell stone, turquoise and seeds were used. They were often colored with insect or vegetable dyes.
Ranchos - (ran choos)
the Huichol have traditionally settled farmsteads, which include six or eight to 50 individuals. The scattered distribution of these compounds, which are seldom closer than a fifteen-minute walk from each other, is a result of the limited amount of arable land and available water.
Tatewari - (ta tay wah reed)
personification of fire (grandfather fire)
Takauyasi - (tah ka oo yah see)
"father" sun
Tepu - (teh pooh)
three legged drum used in ceremony
a little white flower that grows during the wet seasons and sybolizes rain and corn
Urianaka - (yoo reed anah khan)
"mother" earth
Urus - (oo roos)
special decorated arrows used to petition the deities or leave as an offering. Children are taught to make these objects at a very young age. Feathers, paint, string, beads and little embroideries of significant symbols are attached to the sticks and left at sacred places.
Uwane - (oo wahn)
the shaman's chair of a distinctive form that is constructed of bamboo, oak, deer skin, pitch and fiber. The gods are supplied with a similar chair, but it is in miniature. Each shaman transports ones own " uwane" on the back to a ceremony in which the shaman participates.
Vishalika, Viranrika -  
is the word the Huicholes call themselves, which means "doctor" or "healer".
Wirikuta - (wee reed kook tah)
field of flowers; special place where annual Huichol pilgrimages are made led by a marakame, and where peyote grows.
Wixarika - (wee sha reed khan)
healer; what the Huicholes call themselves. They believe they are the "Keepers of the Earth".
Yarn paintings -  
To preserve the ancient beliefs and rituals, these detailed and elaborate yarn paintings were created. The first yarn paintings were exhibited in Guadalajara in 1962, a direct outgrowth of the nierikas. These artworks are a means to draw attention to the rich culture of the Huichol and provide a way of economic survival.