Don Jose

Take a look at this side show: Don Jose. I took these pictures of Don Jose between 1970 and 1980. Captions are seen in the Filmstrip mode. Select: Slideshow to include Don Jose Chants and Huichol music (For a month, my various picture galleries have this audio option, with either don Jose chanting, or Huichol music). Also,you can select Slide Show with full size pictures. All of my slide shows are accessible via clicking on Photo Gallery, my home page, upper left, and then following the slide show instructions.

Don Jose’s birthday was March 19, a few weeks from now. How old was he? No one knows. His daughter, Juana, went to his birth place, Santa Catarina, to obtain a copy of his birth certificate, but could find no records for him, in the baptismal records or registered births, during the years from 1880 to 1900. Don Jose told me he was a young man during the Revolution: this is the only reference point that gives a relative idea about his age. He left Santa Catarina, a central and primary Huichol village, because of  violence in that area during the Mexican Revolution; this is why he and his family lived so far from the central Huichol region.

Don Jose passed away in 1990. He slowly got sick, lasting several years, probably with kidney failure, after leaving his mountain top home to live at low elevation next to the Santiago River, with very dusty polluted air and contaminated river water, the result of road and Dam construction. Today, the mountain top village where he and his family lived is abandoned, with only a few people living in that area.

He smoked all his life, about a half a pack a day, and said that sweating via working daily, very hard, was what kept him healthy. He took peyote once a year, as do many Huichol Indians (estimates vary between 10 and 25%). He drank corn beer after ceremonies, yet avoided drunkenness. Above all, he was a long distance walker, as were most Huichols, hiking through the mountains to their homes, cornfields, hunting or fishing and to visit friends; see my slide show:  Don Jose Family and Friends.

To Find Our Life (1969) by anthropologist Peter Furst, PhD.  This  presentation is about the Huichol Peyote Pilgrimage, with shaman Ramon Medina and Guadalupe, don Jose and his wife Josefa, his son (don) Catarino and other relatives of don Jose’s family. YouTube has a copy (camcorder copy) of this film titled, To Find Your Life; I highly recommend buying the DVD above.

Pomparios (Thank You)  YouTube documentary that includes a Huichol peyote pilgrimage of 2007: presented in the Huichol language, with Spanish translation.

(c) Paul C Adams 2018     Note: I use my legal name for (copyright) rather than Prem Das. I am known by both names

Updated: 3-17-18 and 4-4-18