Mexico has one of the largest and most diverse indigenous populations in Latin America, with this culture living at the heart of Mexican society. This is something that is tremendously inspiring to us and is at the core of our mission. Ondalinda x Careyes created the Ondalinda Foundation, a registered 501c3, as a way to give back to these populations and their arts. The funds donated, are given to the various indigenous communities that we work with, in an effort to keep their craft and traditions alive.
Last year, we were honored to collaborate and work with the Conservación Humana AC in helping the foundation to meet the goal of protecting the Route through sacred sites to Huiricuta by the UNESCO World Heritage Convention.
Join us and be a part of this mission.
At our inaugural edition, we showcased “NAVEGANTES DEL SUEÑO,” an exclusive collection of Wixarika (Huichol) art that gathers unprecedented never-before-seen works, reflecting the cosmovision of this mystic community. For the first time, authentic Huichol masterpieces were exhibited at Ondalinda x Careyes, including works by some of the most famous Huichol artists. Ondalinda x Careyes had the privilege to display a special mural representing traditions and rituals of the Huichol community. A large portion of the art was available to purchase and all the sales went back to the Huichol directly.
Our first edition also included the screening of the multi awarded film “Eco de la Montagna” and a talk led by a world-renowned Huichol expert, Humberto Fernandez along with the 35.000 community leader, Santos de la Cruz.
A Huichol shaman and his musicians performed a ritual at the opening of the exhibition to invoke the Gods and bless the event. Special artisans were present selling their unique creations and crafts with 100% of the profits going directly back to them.
Our theme this year will surround the sun, one of the most important legends in Mexico’s culture. We will be expanding upon this throughout the weekend with different content and exhibitions. This year, we will invite different indigenous tribes to create unique art pieces inspired by the sun, which will be available for purchase, with proceeds going back to the tribes. Guests will also be able to explore a market of crafts by independent Mexican designers and artisans who will be selling their treasures.
More about the huichol
The Huichol people live south of the Sierra Madre Occidental, where the states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Durango and Zacatecas meet. A native culture with origins at least since 1000 B.C., the Huichols have been able to maintain the best preserved native culture in Central and North America. Huichol culture endures because of the collective tenacity to preserve their ancient traditions.
Their cultural geography extends beyond their homeland towards sacred sites, which they visit following various ancestral pilgrimage routes. The route through sacred sites to Huiricuta is fundamental in the cosmogony of the Huichol people. In Huiricuta they venerate the birth of the sun, guided by the spirit of the golden eagle, and they collect peyote, a sacred cactus that is essential to their tradition. The conservation of the route is strategic for the survival of an indigenous culture that has been successful in maintaining the vitality of the Pre-Hispanic routes, like only a few other cultures in North America have…
The route to Huiricuta crosses the southern portion of two eco-regions of planetary relevance due to their contribution to biodiversity: the Sierra Madre Occidental and the Chihuahuan Desert. The route also includes areas of ecological singularity that are recognised as priority areas for the conservation of nature in Mexico.
The itinerary is 450 kilometers long; it begins in the heart of Huichol territory, continues across the states of Jalisco, Zacatecas and San Luis Potosi, and ends in the region of Huiricuta that is adjacent to the historic town of Real de Catorce.
Along all the routes, the Huichol venerate the deities who inhabit natural sacred sites, such as rivers, springs, forests, mountains and caves. The Deities also manifest in certain animals like deer and the golden eagle, in plants like maize and amaranth or in meteorological phenomena such as clouds or wind.
When the Huichol present offerings at sacred sites, the deities confer to the pilgrims wisdom and spiritual guidance, impose penalties or provide lessons according to their performance of ritual obligations. The concentration of sacred sites forms cultural landscapes like Huiricuta, the forests of the Sierra de Cardos in Zacatecas or hydrographical basin of the Huichol Sierra.
The pilgrimages are also an educational experience and they function as an 'itinerant university'. Every time they walk the route, the elders transmit to the young the most valuable knowledge of their ancestral legacy by means of chants, dances and sophisticated ritual. In this manner, the itinerary becomes the reading of a codex displayed on the landscape. The oral transmission of knowledge throughout the route is transcendental to the survival of the Huichol culture, since their language has no written expression.
For over 20 years, Conservación Humana AC has been working together with the Huichol in the mapping, analysis and description of the Huichol Route to Huiricuta in order to ensure its greatest recognition and legal protection. This Mexican, independent and non-profit organization, works to implement a variety of initiatives ensuring the fundamental human rights of the Huichol people, including their right to natural resources management, sustainable development, environmental conservation and cultural heritage preservation.