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Keeping his past alive

(Huichol Center for Cultural Survival)
By Anthony Savvides
Globe Correspondent / December 1, 2011
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Cilau Valadez is a member of the ancient Huichol tribe, driving their traditions forward and working to preserve a simple lifestyle in an ever evolving, complex world. The Huichol - or Wixáritari, as they call themselves in their native language which translates to “the people’’ - hail from western central Mexico. Their religion consists of four deities: the trinity of Corn, Blue Deer, and Peyote, and the eagle, all descended from Tao Jreeku, their Sun God. Most Huichols retain the traditional beliefs and are resistant to change, especially when that change is coming at the hands of a large corporation and would severely damage - if not entirely destroy - their way of life.

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WHO
Cilau Valadez
WHAT
Valadez, 23, is a member of the ancient Huichol tribe, moving their traditions forward and working to preserve a simple lifestyle in an ever evolving, complex world. The Huichol - or Wixritari, as they call themselves in their native language and which translates to “the people’’ - hail from western central Mexico. Their religion consists of four deities: the trinity of Corn, Blue Deer and Peyote; and the eagle, all descended from Tao Jreeku, their Sun God. Most Huichols retain the traditional beliefs and some, like Valadez, learned the traditional art of beading and yarn painting. Valadez spoke recently about his trip to Boston, where he will participate in the Cultural Survival Bazaar beginning Saturday at Harvard.