Ramon Medina Silva was a mara'akame, a shaman-priest. The difficult work of a mara'akame demanded that he bridge the spirit world and the Huichol world to explain the supernatural to his people. Concerned that the knowledge of his culture might eventually be lost, he worked with Myerhoff to produce her record of its most important ritual, the peyote hunt. Ramon became Myerhoff's guide to the Huichol's way of life and his teachings and art continued to play an influential role in her work throughout her career. In her preface to Peyote Hunt, Myerhoff wrote, "It is difficult to speak of my debt to Ramon and to Lupe [Ramon's wife]. This is their work as much as mine. My part of it is conveying something of a way of life that is beautiful, as they say, because it is right. I have tried to tell it as they told it to me, so that it shall not be forgotten."
Notes: 1. The quote "It is difficult to speak..." is from Barbara Myerhoff, Peyote Hunt: the Sacred Journey of the Huichol Indians (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1974) 24-5.