All eyes are on Sayulita this fall as members of the Sayulita community have been hard at work to set a world record this year for Sayulita’s Dia de los Muertos festivities. The goal is to have the most (ever recorded) Ojo de Dios on display.
Ojo de Dios or “God’s eye” in English, is a symbol that can be seen all throughout Mexico. Anthropologists believe the symbol originated from the Huichol culture, it’s been seen in Huichol artifacts from hundreds of years ago and is still used commonly in their art today. The Huichol are descendants of the Aztecs that live in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Nayarit and Jalisco. Huichol was the name given to the people by the Spaniards, they call themselves Wixaritari, which means healer in their language. They’re one of the last authentic cultures of indigenous people that remain in North America.
Many different cultures have various meanings and uses for the eye of God symbol, the Huichol version specifically is seen as a sign of protection with the four points representing earth, water, wind and fire. The Huichol’s Ojo de Dios are called “Sikuli” meaning the power to see and understand the unknown. Each Huichol child receives a Sikuli when they’re born, the father starts the center of the eye with yarn, another color is woven on each year until the child is five years old. At the age of five the child throws the Sikuli into the sea as an offering to the gods and to show gratitude for their protection, the child is now able to protect themselves.
The number 5 is a significant number to the Huichol people; there are 5 sacred points on their map, five peyote colors, five corn colors, and five rain gods. It is also five times that a shaman must travel by foot to Wirikuta for peyote and meet with the gods to complete their hierarchy as a shaman. If you’re interested in learning more about the Huichol culture, keep an eye out for our upcoming blogs! Sign up for our newsletter HERE and be the first to know, you’ll also be entered in our free week giveaway!
Colors and their Meanings:Black: The Pacific Ocean and the goddess Tatei Armana, mother of the sea. Black also represents life.
Blue: The sacred lagoon of Chapala and Rapawiyene, the god of rain and water.
White: Wind and clouds, also can be associated with death.
Red: Parietekúathe peyote god.
Purple: The existence of the Huichol people.
It’s incredible that the Huichol people have been able to keep their own beliefs and traditions intact for hundreds of years, however it is still a daily fight. Mining companies pose a constant threat to the Huichol land as well as depleting natural resources for everyone. This year the Wixaritari people, represented by The Huichol Center for Cultural Survival were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize because of their efforts to save the natural world. Find more information HERE.
Many Huichol’s support their families by creating and selling arts and crafts. During your next visit to Sayulita you can help the Huichol people by purchasing some of the beautiful creations and bring these vibrant colors home with you.
We look forward to seeing the finished project on Dia de Los Muertos, with festivities starting October 31st. See you there!
For further interest in the Huichol culture, you can rent the documentary The Last Peyote Guardians (English Subtitles) here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/huicholes