Culture Guides

Huichol

The Huichol Indians, of Mexico, take peyote as a religious sacrament. The drug gives them visions that accord with the activities of their life. The visions tell them things like whether rain will come or whether there will be plenty of prey in hunting. They produce fantastically colored handmade yarn and bead art depicting animals and helpers that are obviously inspired by the visions induced by peyote. Often their art depicts the corn, sun, deer and eagle gods.

The Huichol people are very poor and sell their art in places like Tepic and Puerto Vallarta. There is also an unofficial ‘adopt-a-gringo’ program where some Indians and people pretending to be Huichols teach foreigners about taking peyote and the Indian culture.

More info on the Huichol Indians can be found at the American Indian cultures website.