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The Last Peyote Guardians

The Last Peyote Guardians

The documentary film entitled The Huichols: the Last Peyote Guardians was first shown in the Czech Republic on 1st – 5th May 2015. The film by the Argentinian director Hernán Vilchez was made in 2014 at the request of the representatives of the native Wixáritari (Huichol) people who live in the north of Mexico

The film portrays the current situation of the Huichol and their courageous struggle to preserve Wirikuta, a sacred and exceedingly valuable natural territory, which has become endangered and been exploited as a result of the selfish mining of rare metals. The film is a journey in search of a way to save a way of life and it depicts the painful internal dichotomies of our materialistic world. The Ramirez family takes the audience on the annual pilgrimage to Wirikuta to meet their ancient ancestors who dwell there. Together with the family, the audience submerges into the myths and the world view of the Wixáritari culture, according to which the Earth, every being living upon it and every element of nature are sacred. The Peyote cactus also grows in Wirikuta and it has become the central element of the spiritual traditions of this nation and the medium for communicating with their gods. Despite the thousand-year rituals handed from generation to generation, conflict has arisen: the threat of the entry of mining companies which, if their pressure is successful, may pollute and destroy Wirikuta and irrevocably transform it into an infertile and uninhabitable land, polluted and desecrated. At its conclusion, the film offers possible solutions and presents practical ways in which the public van become involved and help Wirikuta and its inhabitants in their endeavours.

The director and the film's main protagonists from the Huichol community, Don José Luis Ramírez and his son Enrique, have accompanied the film on its European tour and film-goers can discuss the film's message and possible future developments with them after the film screening.

The screenings in Brno, Ostrava and Prague were the focus of great interest from both the lay and expert public. The film is now continuing on its journey around Europe.

We wish it much success when delivering its important message. A platform which has been established in the Czech Republic to support this project has its own Peyote Guardians (Strážci peyotlu)community page on Facebook. It provides current information about this case in Czech and in future it will also offer followers the opportunity to support the cause.


The film can be seen here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/huicholesfilm 

On-line screenings for private purposes are charged at 3.99 USD, by means of which viewers from around the world can help to finance the project.

Public screenings are possible by arrangement with the film-makers. Their terms and conditions are available here: www.huicholesfilm.com.


On Friday 12.6.2015, Don Rogelio and the documentary film-makers visited the glass works in the Jizera Mountains, where all of the delicate glass beads which the Huichol use to make their wonderful jewellery and pictures are made. Seed beads from the Jablonec area have become an integral part of the lives of the Wixáritari tribe. Small children use them to learn the colours and how to count. The colours of the seed beads have their own symbolism in Huichol ornaments and they express their feelings and moods. They adorn the people's everyday clothing, but also their masks, figures, ceremonial items, shamans' hats and so on. During the visit, Don Rogelio told the company's representatives: "I cannot imagine that these seed beads (la chaquira) would no longer be produced". The average annual consumption of Czech glass seed beads per capita of the Huichol- Wixáritari ethnic group exceeds one kilogram. Beads have been made in the Jablonec area since the 16th century. They are now sold to more than 80 countries on 5 continents under the PRECIOSA Traditional Czech Beads brand


You can see a video about the traditional technique of pearl mosaics Mexican Huicholes tribe.



Huichol Art

 

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