What may be a damaged tree to some may be something more to others. And this was the case for the W Punta de Mita in Mexico, as the hotel’s relationship with the indigenous Huichol people has given them a renewed appreciation for nature. When the property recently needed to remove a damaged tree from their grounds, they called upon the Huichol to perform a ceremony to honor the spirit of the damaged tree.
Shamanism is a way of life for the Huichol and has been for thousands of years. It is something inherent to life itself, as it is the way of living in harmony with nature and all of creation. The Huichol people continue to live without electricity or running water and instead, rely on their relationship with nature to sustain their communities.
According to Huichol belief, we must ask Mother Nature for permission before cutting down any trees as they are living beings and full of energy. To perform the ceremony, the shaman tossed water in the cardinal directions to purify and bless the people and their surroundings. This was accompanied by the music of traditional percussion instruments as the tree was removed.
Ten associates took part in the ceremony while many guests joined as well. After the tree’s removal, remnants were left at the site for Nakawe (Mother Earth) to reabsorb it.