The Huichol live primarily in the States of Jalisco and Nayarit. The population figures state that there are about 60,000 people that speak Huichol. The language is in the Nahua-Cuitlateco Group, Yutonahua branch, in the Pima-Cora family. The actual number of Huichol is difficult to determine due to the inaccessibility of the mountainous territory in which they live (many peaks over 9000 feet) and the natural suspicion the Huichol have of strangers. The Huichol have protected their traditional culture by removing themselves from areas where non-Huichol have come to live. Both men and women wear traditional clothing, with the men’s ceremonial clothing being some of the most traditional in Mexico.
This page is but a small sample of the variety of traditional designs worn by the Huichol. The Huichol men wear embroidered muslin pants, a long shirt/smock that is wrapped around the waist and held in place by hand-woven belts, and a kerchief which may be embroidered or a combination of embroidery and felt. They use hand-woven and embroidered bags, and during ceremonies wear a straw hat with feathers.
The Huichol have maintained their ancestral belief systems. The deities are referred to as Grandfather Sun or Our Aunts (godesses of rain and the sea). The Huichol believe that all difficulties are related to these spirits and they can only be mitigated by first understanding which spirit is offended and then asking the spirit for relief. There are shamans that inherit their place in Huichol society and are called upon by the community to interpret spirits and cure ills.
The Huichol celebrate some Catholic holidays such as Semana Santa (Easter Week), Corpus Christi, and the honoring of the Virgin of Guadalupe. In addition there are traditional rites for the goddess of fertility (Nakawe), healing the earth, corn, and especially rain.