EL SUEÑO DEL MARA’AKAME

EL SUEÑO DEL MARA’AKAME/ Mara’akame’s Dream

Director:

  • Federico Cecchetti

Este retrato evocador de México sigue a Niere, un joven indio Huichol atrapado entre su cultura tradicional y sus ambiciones juveniles. En un viaje a la cheap jerseys Ciudad de México con su padre, un chamán (o Mara’akame) planea entrenar a su hijo en el arte de la curación espiritual. El debe comunicarse en sus sueños con el ciervo azul para convertirse en un Mara’kame y seguir con la  tradición. Pero Niere sólo quiere actuar con su banda de rock. Los sueños del joven lo guían hacia un camino espiritual de auto-despertar, a medida que las realidades de la vida urbana se mezclan con el misticismo de su pueblo.

 

This evocative portrait of Mexico follows Niere, a young Huichol Indian caught between his traditional culture and his youthful ambitions. He travels to Mexico City with his father, a shaman (or Mara’akame) who is planning to train his son in the art of spiritual healing. He must find the Blue Deer in his dreams in order to become a Mara’kame and follow his tradition. But Niere only wants to perform with his rock band. The young man’s dreams guide him down a more spiritual path of self-awakening, as the urban realities of city life blend with the mysticism of his people. It is a cinematically exciting mix of an adventure trip and a symbolic-mythological nightmare expressed in images that linger in your memory.

 

Awards

Morelia, Ojo Award

Ventana Sur 2015

Berlinale – Berlin IFF 2016

 

Historical Note

Wirarika or Huichol people, are one of the most ancient Mexican cultures and it is Câu the few cultures whose oldest traditions are well preserved. They are an indigenous Mexican ethnic group, in the Sierra Madre Occidental.  Every year they make a pilgrimage to the sacred desert of Wirikuta to be in communion with their gods through Peyote. Today this magic land is in danger. Mara’akame (the sage), is the name for the shaman healer of the cheap jerseys from china Huichols (in their own language: Wixarika). They also perform rituals where they prescribe medicinal plants. The Huichols were granted a special permit by the Mexican Cheap Jerseys government to use the peyote cactus in their rituals, despite the fact that this plant is illegal due to its psychotropic properties. The film starts off in the Wirikuta region in San Luis Potosi with a scene of a traditional baptism ceremony.

 

 

 

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The Huichol (or Wixáritari) are Native Mexicans, living in the Sierra Madre Occidental range in the Mexican states of Nayarit, Jalisco, Zacetacas, and Durango. They are best known to the larger world as the Huichol, however, they refer to themselves as Wixáritari (“the people”) in their native language.

 

The Huichol originated in the state of San Luis Potosi but later migrated westward. Once yearly, some Huichol journey back to San Luis, their ancestral homeland deep in the mountains of central Mexico, where they lived for at least 15,000 years according to carbon dating of the ashes from their sacred fireplaces.

 

Historical documents indicate that by the 16th century, the Huichol had arrived in the region that is today northern Jalisco. The writings of Alonso Ponce, dating from the year 1587, indicate that the province of Tepeque was inhabited by an ethnic group who used to unite with the Guachichiles to carry out attacks and incursions on Spanish settlements and caravans. The arrival of the Spaniards brought epidemics to the indigenous communities whose members had no resistance to the diseases of Europe. In addition, those natives who did not die of the epidemics suffered as the Spaniards forced them to work in recently discovered mines in the region.

 

The Huichol arrived in the Bolaños Canyon region looking for refuge and settled among the Tepecano settlements that already existed there. The two ethnic groups would unite under a single leader to defend themselves from Spanish incursions and to mount rebellions against the Spanish colonial government.

 

With the building of modern roads in the Huichol Zone, new influences are impacting their social fabric. Where mules, horses and burros used to be the main forms of transport, trucks are becoming more prominent, importing food, medicines, and beer. In 1986, the Huichols continued to live isolated and very tradiational lives, but since this contact from within their own country, they have had to adapt and change to be more modern.

 

In the past thirty years, about four thousand Huichols have migrated to cities, primarily Tepic, Nayarit, Guadalajara, and Mexico City. It is these urbanized Huichols who have drawn attention to their rich culture through their art. To preserve their ancient beliefs they have begun making detailed and elaborate yarn paintings. The symbols in these paintings, as well as their famous beaded artwork, spring from Huichol culture and its shamanistic traditions. From small beaded eggs and jaguar heads to the modern detailed yarn paintings in psychedelic colors, each is related to a part of Huichol tradition and belief.

 

Their religion consists of four principal deities: the trinity of Corn, Blue Deer and Peyote, and the Eagle, all descended from their Sun God, “Tao Jreeku”. Most Huichols retain the traditional beliefs and are resistant to change. Huichol are relatively well-known among anthropologists for their long tradition of rejecting Catholic influences and continuing traditional shamanistic practices. Along with the Lacandons and other ethnic minorities in the country, the Huichol have fought for their religious and cultural freedom since the arrival of the Spanish conquerors. These ethnic minorities are often portrayed as non-existent or as extremely marginal due to the stereotype of indigenous people in Mexico as fervent Roman Catholics. Huichol people have also been victims of discrimination, indiginous rights violations,, and even been stripped of their lands on the grounds of not sharing the same religious faith. In recent decades, Huichol culture has seen the increasing influence of evangelical Protestants from the United States who, by building churches and helping the community financially, have made their way into Huichol traditions. Friction exists between converts to Christianity, the scorned “aleluyas”, and followers of the old religion, which means the evangelicals and their missions are barely tolerated.

 

Like many indigenous American groups, Huichols have traditionally used the hallucinogenic peyote (hikuri) cactus in religious rituals. Huichol rituals reflect pre-Columbian practices particularly accurately, and involve singing, weeping, and contact with ancestor spirits. The Huichol trek each year to Wirikúta, in the San Luis Potosi desert, to collect peyote. Before reaching Wirikúta they pass by the sacred springs of Tatéi Matiniéri (“Where Our Mother Lives”), the house of the eastern rain goddess. They cross steppes. The first one is called the Cloud Gate; the second, Where the Clouds Open. This pilgrimage takes place annually as a desire to return to where life originated and heal oneself. The Huichols assume roles of gods along the trail that they usually take by foot. Upon arrival in Wirikúta, the hunt begins and the first cactus that is found is shared among everyone. They then harvest enough peyote for the year. After the work cheap oakleys sunglasses is done, they eat enough peyote to have visions. Because of the visions, the shaman is able to speak to the gods and ensure the regeneration of the Huichols’ souls.

 

Due to their desire to use this traditional plant recreationally, the Mexican government has enacted laws allowing for its use in religious practices only; any other use or possession can be a crime worthy of ten to twenty-five years in prison. However, it has gotten harder and harder for the Huichol to find their sacred plant and they have had Cheap Jerseys to ask for intervention from the Mexican government to protect a section of their trail. As stated by Pedro Medellin, the head of a government study on peyote population in Huichol sacred areas, “If peyote disappears, then their whole culture disappears.”