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Ramon Administering the Sacred Water to Myerhoff

Ramon Administering the Sacred Water to Myerhoff

The following ritual took place after the pilgrims arrival at Tatei Matinieri which was "'Where Our Mothers Dwell,' a cluster of permanent water holes in the desert...close ot Wirikuta, containg the Sacred Water which must be gathered in the course of the peyote hunt":

The peyoteros [peyote pilgrims] assembled in a line....Ramon, at the head of the line, then beckoned forward the first pilgrim, Carlos. Ramon squatted beside the largest water hole and taking up some in his gourd bowl removed Carlos' hat and poured water into it. He then touched both of Carlos' eyes with his plumes, sprinkled water on his head, and had him drink that remaining in the bowl. The ritual varied somewhat for the primeros [novice pilgrims]. Ramon took more time and care with them, praying over them longer. After they had drunk the Sacred Water...[he] urged them to gaze up and behold the sacred place to which they had returned as gods...

At this point, quite unexpectedly, Ramon called forward Furst and then me and administered the Sacred Water and blessing to each of us, telling us, 'Now you are in accord and of one heart with your brothers, the Huichols.' He directed us as we clumsily imitated the movements of sprinkling the water and tortilla mixture to the four directions.


1. Quote on Tatei Matinieri from Barbara Myerhoff, Peyote Hunt: the Sacred Journey of the Huichol Indians (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1974) 90. 2. "The peyoteros assembled in a line..." quote from Myerhoff, Peyote Hunt 143-6.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Ramon Administering the Sacred Water to Myerhoff." (Viewed on November 26, 2015) <>.


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