HUICHOL Page 4

  The shaman did not specify his charge for the cleansing, altho I think we all gave him between 10 & 20 pesos. The Huichol believe that if one becomes ill, one sees the shaman first. If the shaman cannot cure him/her, then the person sees the doctor at the clinic in the village (or in the city of Tepic). If the doctor cannot cure the person, s/he consults the shaman again. If the person dies after seeing the doctor, it's because the doctor contaminated the person.

    This shaman may ot have been very good or powerful, but he made a lot of money from the tourists who came to his village. He also ran on ahead of us to get out his handicrafts to sell in the market in the village. Of course, because he was a shaman, and because we "knew" him, he sold more of his handicrafts than the women in the market. Who wouldn't like to go back home with a souvenier made by a "genuine, altho not very good or very powerful" shaman?

While we were getting purified, the man with the cook stove was making his way up to the village in 9 million degree heat. His wife & children had run on ahead.

The Mexican Government has built a station house to count the Huichol, to register their births and deaths, and to watch over their village. Our guide thought the structure was "too good" & should not have been so fancy. He was afraid that its presence would encourage the mestizos who had fishing clubs along the lake to want to take over the Huichol land.

The government has provided the census takers with a truck. It is labeled: Communidad Indigenista, & is supposed to be used only by the Government workers for the benefit of the Huichol.

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