The story begins at the entrance of a narrow tunnel, in the middle of Northern Mexico’s mountains. We are patiently waiting for our turn, imagining what it would look like on the other side. We drive through. As we pass the bright tunnel’s end, time freezes. The hands of the watch wind up at high speed. As if we had returned in time. Horses walking on the cobblestones, artisans selling colorful beadworks and yarn art, and children playing in the street. The roads are winding and thin between the stoned houses. The air is pure and old. We have arrived in Real de Catorce.
As the night falls, the air cools. Luisa lodges us in her cozy casita. We put on our ponchos, sit around a wood fire and multiple stories are told:
This village is said to be the cocoon of the Wixárika culture. One of the oldest indigenous cultures in Mexico, practicing their belief like their ancestor did centuries ago in their sacred place. According to the legend, the Wixárika people were suffering from a prolonged drought and famine, and their prayers to their deities for rain went unanswered. One day, a group of 14 Wixárika elders set out on a pilgrimage to the sacred mountain of Wirikuta, where they hoped to find a solution to their problems. As they climbed the mountain, they came upon a deer that had been caught in a trap set by a group of Spanish hunters. The Wixárika elders freed the deer and, in return, the deer led them to a hidden spring that was the source of a powerful and abundant stream of water. The Wixárika elders returned to their village with news of the spring, and the community was saved from famine. In honor of the 14 elders who had made the pilgrimage, the community named the town “Real de Catorce.”
The early singing rooster welcomes the morning sun. The village slowly wakes up. We light up the fireplace to warm us, and our coffee. On the corner of the street, we see 5 musicians in colorful costumes playing with striking energy. The wobbly Bubblebass accompanies the violin and the guitar covered in deer hide and colorful inscription. These instruments came to life as soon as the two ladies sang from their hearts. Little did we know, we would enter the realm of Wixarika culture with the band, El Venado Azul.
The next day, we departed to the desert of Wirikuta with the Marakame. Under the zenith of the sun, Julien and I started looking for the sacred cactus, Peyote. It is said that the plant finds you. And just like that, at the feet of a bush, we finally found one, we cut it carefully above the root to let it grow again the next years. The Marakame chanted and cleansed our energy to allow us to fully and consciously embrace it, and place it in our mouth. The bitterness gives us a grin, an initiated the adventure.
The blue deer walks fiercely, taken from an epiphanic impulse, he is rushing.
Its majestic self accelerates, its horns dancing in its race toward the opening of the portal of life.
One of the five portals is now open, right in the middle of the sacred land.
Will you be able to find it or will it be able to find you?
The road is rocky and stony, Cactaceae thorns are dangerous, but so much life in such a dry place.
Suddenly, a wave of vegetal grandness points his nose above the sacred hill.
With impeccable charisma, the leaves of this lonely tree become the only symphony of the desert land.
The Marakame turns to you.
With a sacred intonation, he announces your appearance in his dream like a pollen flapping its wings, sharing its fertility, flowering the flora around.
The Wixarika tribe now calls you T + kiya.