Peyote Dance

(redirected from H'kuli Dance)

Peyote Dance (H’kuli Dance)

To the Tarahumara (who call themselves Rarámuri) and Huichol Indians of northern Mexico, peyote, or híkuli, is the mescal button, derived from the tops of a cactus plant and used as a stimulant or hallucinogen during religious ceremonies. In October and November, they head for eastern Chihuahua to gather peyote. The peyote will be used in January in the dance that follows the deer hunt, because peyote is identified with deer. The dancers paint symbolic designs, such as corn, squash, and fruit, on their faces. They ingest peyote to induce a supernatural state and to encourage the growth of crops. The dance is characterized by sudden jumping and twisting movements; the beat is set by rubbing deer bones together or shaking deer-hoof rattles.
DictFolkMyth-1984, p. 861
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