Ite+ri wewiya Haramara tsie timieme
OFFERING IN THE SEA
- When the pilgrims deliver the offerings at the sea, they perform a ceremony before reaching the sea, who are the ones who deliver offerings year after year and may the relatives of the jicareros of the ceremonial center be blessed. -
ITE+RI WEWIYA HARAMARA TSIE TIMIEME
- Tewa k+ kamete le Pau ka haramaratsie me m+ tetuayu me p+ te umawar+me ITe+ri aix+ aneme mepiyatuiriwa ke ane me meyexeiya xei witari manuyeyeikatsie ke ane nuy wari mem+ yia aix+ anemek+ Wa +wiyani xukuri +Kate. -
This wax thread board, an original plastic expression technique of the Wixárika people, shows a very illustrative scene of an offering ceremony carried out on Isla del Rey, in San Blas, Nayarit. In this place is the “white rock”, a rock formation about five hundred meters from the coast, which is considered the home of Tatei Haramaara, Our mother of the Sea.
This alterity is governing water in its general meaning; of the sea, tides, lagoons, lakes and in general aquatic bodies. However, the table shows other alterations that also have a water relationship. In the two clouds that flank the Mara'akame or shaman, who is seated as the central figure of the image, you can see the faces of two characters who have particular characteristics. The first one on the left is a Mara'akame that could be presentifying Tatei N+' ariwame, Our mother the rain. This can be inferred from the fact that the cloud releases raindrops and because under it there is a coiled aquatic viper (Ku), in addition to the blue-albia color with which the character appears, which allows him to be distinguished from other humans in scene as someone who is not human.
In the case of the character in the right cloud, it can be inferred that he is a Mara'akame who could present Haik+, the cloud serpent. Presentification means that the Mara'akame in question is not representing Haik+, but is converted into Haik+ itself. In the same way, the chromatic differentiation of his skin allows us to make the difference with the human plane, and beneath it is a coiled rattlesnake (xaye).
Both Mara'akate are presumably the assistants or seconds of the central one, with whom he communicates through shamanic chants. In the middle of them, at the top of the table, is the sun, with its own face, flanked by two eagles, and also presented with blue-albia tones. This could indicate that it is a prototypical sun, prior to its birth. Therefore, one of the reasons for the offerings to be given could be a request for the sun to rise at dawn.
From this point on, the rest of the table is very figurative, realistic, except for the central representation of the Tatewari fire with its own face, in warm colors, red and orange, surrounded by two characters that could be the representation of the smoke that turns into clouds, as well as the wood on which the flames feed. One is holding a red cob, the other is about to take a peyote. The rest of that image is completed by four deer (two males and two females) that come out of the fire itself, as well as three peyotes.
It is important to mention that the majority of stencil artists use canvases to capture multifaceted and polyvalent symbols and alterities; masks that can be the nose of another character, animated objects, “lines of power”, stars that can be the eyes of another otherness, or a game with backgrounds that allows us to distinguish the different temporalities in the works.
In this case, it is not so. Ángel and Nicolasa present an image that seeks to realistically capture the pilgrims, men and women, on their way to the sea. The background perfectly delimits the beach, the sky and the sea water, within which marine animals are shown that seek to be as realistic as possible. Between the sea and the fire, there is a gourd or xucuri.
Around the circle you can see xucurite or gourds with offerings; corn, peyote, arrows, venison, etc. On both sides there are corn and peyote plants on fire. Outside of the description of these symbolic elements, the high degree of realism that is attempted to be given to the images is reiterated, which undoubtedly makes this work something peculiar compared to other works in this category.
The use of color is strictly focused on representing the images accurately, except in the case of the skin of the characters in the clouds and the blue-white sun. This is something that totally breaks with the ritual use of colors in Huichol works of art, where colors play a transcendental role in the final message of the work.
It could be said that this work, inspired by the offering ceremony to Haramara, is not the product of a dream vision or a trance state, but rather it is a piece that attests to the customs of the Wixárika people in their rites and ceremonies.
Without further ado, it is pointed out that this analysis is based on a totally personal interpretation, which seeks to delve a little further than the authors' explanation at the beginning of the text.
Text authorship: Mtro. Jorge A. Martínez Cabrera.