The main economic activities of the Huichols are handicrafts, cattle ranching, ethno-tourism, and hunting. The Huichols are inhabitants of the Sierra Madre Occidental, also known as Sierra Huichola.
Its extension includes the States of Jalisco, Nayarit, Durango and Zacatecas. This is one of the cultures that still preserves, since Mesoamerican times, its cosmogony, traditions, economic activities and practices almost intact.
Also, they maintain their social and political structures and their language. Today, the Huichol or Wixárika language is still spoken, which is pronounced viral . In total, 47625 speakers of their language have been registered in Mexico.
Regarding the economic activities carried out by this indigenous Mexican community, there are not only livestock and agriculture, there are some others for which the Huichols are even more recognized.
Main activities of the Huichol or Wixárika people
Currently, the fundamental economic activities are ethno-tourism, seasonal wage labor, cattle ranching, agriculture, hunting and handicrafts.
During the countercultural movement in the sixties, a mass interest in Huichol art was awakened, since its aesthetics are related to psychedelic experiences.
Thus, some Huichols have chosen to develop crafts for a commercial purpose. Among the products they develop, you can find pictures of stamens, embroidery on clothes, musical instruments and decorated figures.
The latter are the most famous locally and internationally.
Some members of the town, became artists or craftsmen full time.
In Huichol territory, cattle run freely through the mountains. Although, during the growing season he is kept away from planting coamil.
Also, the raising of turkeys and chickens is important, these are rarely sacrificed during religious ceremonies.
However, pig farming is an activity that lacks religious significance.
In this case, it is the cultivation of coamil, which is a subsistence activity. It is also a practice for religious purposes.
The traditional method of cultivation is slash, slash and burn. Likewise, beans, corn, and squash grow together in the coamil.
On the other hand, marigold and amaranth flowers are planted on the banks of the coamil.
These are visits to different urban and tourist centers where crafts are sold, usually combined with tours of various sacred places, related to peyote.
This activity has lost importance for subsistence. It remains a central activity within the ritual system, mainly the hunting of white-tailed deer.
There are other animals that are hunted such as squirrels, only those of the species Sciurus colliaei, iguanas, and wild boars.
Ministry of Culture of the Government of Jalisco, “Chaquira of the Huichol Indians: techniques and designs from 1820 to 1980”, Celia García de Weigand, Carl Lumholtz, Léon Diguet, Robert Mowry Zingg (2006).
“Traditions: The Huichol, one of the most fascinating cultures in Mexico” (March, 2017) in: Excelsior de México. excelsior.com.mx
“The Huichol people, one of the oldest indigenous communities in Mexico” (June, 2015) in: 20 Minutes. 20minutos.com
National Commission for the Development of Indigenous Peoples, “Huicholes” (December, 2003) in: Indigenous Peoples of Contemporary Mexico gob.mx
University of Guadalajara “The harassment of” the Huichol custom: the processes of social hybridization “, José de Jesús Tores (2000) in Colegio de Michoacán.