Welcome! You are here because you have been invited to be a part of a three-day ritual held in the Wixárika (Huichol) tradition. Please join the Grupo Tatewarí Mara’akate at the ceremonial center of Casa Xiuhtecuhtli in the mountains and beautiful village of Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico.
This is a unique opportunity for those yearning for a deeper experience of ritual, ceremony and tradition that offers blessings to all who attend.
Let us share a bit more context so you can appreciate the preciousness of this invitation to participate in the ceremony. You may also enjoy reading Erica Cohen’s article about her experience.
The vastness of the dimensions of existence and challenges of being human can make it difficult or overwhelming to navigate life. While appearing as a modest thatched adobe shelter, the Tuki contains the cosmos, thus providing people a place and way to orient to life with balance. Tuki and the relationships, ceremonies and healing held within them can help us find our way. The Tuki is a living treasure that nourishes and feeds people and connection to the Gods and the world. It requires feeding and care as well.
This is how the Tuki was born (excerpt from the Sacred Story)
The people had come to the edge of the sea, to Yuuwita, the place of darkness – the place where Tau, the Sun, disappears. As Tau rose again in the east, He sent a message arrow. Kauyumari, the deer-person, listened closely to the arrow to see what it had to say. Kauyumari then called the greatest singer-shaman (Mara’akame Tsaurixika), who could sing and learn the will of the Gods. This was Tatewarí. He emerged from the fire in all of His glory of costume and feathers. He sat in His shaman’s chair (Uwéni) and after resting announced that the Sun had commanded that a temple be built, a Tuki, where the people would gather. And here the Sun would be invited along with Tate Haramara, Grandmother Ocean; Takutsi Nakawé, GrandmotherGrowth; Yurianaka, Moist Mother Earth; Tatótsi Márakawári, elder brotherdeer-tail; and all the Gods of the seasons, the rains, the sky, and the stars. Here the people would create a great fiesta with many offerings to celebrate the presence of the many Gods and to celebrate the help that all of those present would receive. Different people were chosen by Tatewarí to carry the offerings for the gods in special devotional bowls (jícaras) as Jicareros. And the Tuki, now alive, would be fed and honored for hosting all of the Gods and all of the people.
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In 2006, in response to Grupo Tatewarí’s growing relationship and dedication to the Huichol tradition, the Tuki was built on the grounds of what is now called Casa Xiuhtecuhtli, Home of Fire. The Wixárika people and the Gods authorized and granted this gift through elder Don José Sandoval de la Cruz by producing a ceremonial consecration of the first Tuki outside of their homelands in the western Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico. This was unprecedented. Tatewarí, Grandfather Fire, designated this ceremonial center as the “Principal Tuki for Grupo Tatewarí”. Over the years it has become a home for many local and international gatherings, teachings, healing work, and ceremonies.
In September 2022, after a long pause due to the pandemic, Elder Tsaurixika Don José Sandoval de la Cruz from La Laguna, Jalisco and representatives from Tateykie, San Andrés Cohamiata, Jalisco traveled once again to Casa Xiuhtecuhtli to begin the five-year cycle of feeding the Tuki to ensure that the Gods receive our offerings.
As part of an initiative under the guidance of Tatewarí, (our Grandfather Fire in the Wixárika language) Don David Wiley and Don Eliot Cowan were instructed to travel to the Huichol Sierras to the village of San Andrés Cohamiata in 1998 to begin establishing formal relationships with the mara’akate lineages of that location. Through a connection with their Tatuwani (traditional governor) and their Kawiterutsixi (council of elders) the authorities recognized both of them and the group they were leading as mara’akate, properly instructed, apprenticed, and initiated under the direction of Tatewarí. From that point on they were referred to by local governance members and elder assembly officially and affectionately as Grupo Tatewarí.
An ancient ritual of the Wixárika (Huichol) culture is to feed the Tuki, the ceremonial-temple home for the Gods. The essential nature of the Tuki reflects the cosmos, in every aspect of its construction and its spirit. Fall 2022 began a new five-year traditional ceremonial cycle of Fiestas.
Five guardian elder mara’akate from Grupo Tatewarî, called Jicareros, were chosen by Tatewarí to host the Tuki Fiesta for a 5 year ceremonial cycle. As Jicareros, Patrick Hanaway, Susan Skinner, Lawrence Messerman, Anna-Lena Hilton, and Linda Felch are hosts for the Tuki Fiesta in September. The Jicareros will prepare special offerings during the Tuki Fiesta. They will each carry a jícara (gourd bowl) to hold the offerings, and will carry these offerings to the most sacred site of the Wixárika tradition, the Birthplace of the Gods the following November. They will act on behalf of our community, as they ask for blessings and healing to be bestowed upon the attendees.
The Jicareros are supported by an elder shaman known as a Tsaurixika-singer who leads and officiates the 3 day ritual of the Tuki Fiesta.
The traditional elder council (Kawiterutsixi) from the Huichol homelands of San Andres Cohiamata have offered our group the support of Tsaurixika Don Efrén to continue deepening in our ceremonial endeavors. Don Efrén will replace Don José Sandoval de la Cruz, after many years of service, in leading our ceremonies. We are grateful for his support and for the continued guidance of the Wixárika elders who are committed to helping us be of benefit in the modern world through the gifts and perspective of this Tradition. As in the beginning, at the Fiesta this September, Don Efrén (Tsaurixika-singer) will sing and listen and share the guidance of the Gods.