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Tres Positos Pilgrimage 2007 This selective sample of photos shows some highlights of a pilgrimage to the sacred mountain Tres Positos. The ritual dedicated.

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Presentation on theme: "Tres Positos Pilgrimage 2007 This selective sample of photos shows some highlights of a pilgrimage to the sacred mountain Tres Positos. The ritual dedicated."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tres Positos Pilgrimage 2007 This selective sample of photos shows some highlights of a pilgrimage to the sacred mountain Tres Positos. The ritual dedicated to the element of water was organized by Nahua ritual specialist Encarnación Téllez Hernández. It was held March 15-18, 2007, in the village of Amatlán [a pseudonym], in the municipio of Ixhuatlán de Madero, and at the summit of Tres Positos, near La Reforma, municipio of Benito Juárez, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. Photos were taken with a Nikon D50 digital SLR camera by Alan R. Sandstrom and Pamela Effrein Sandstrom. Please do not cite without permission. Alan R. Sandstrom Department of Anthropology Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) 2101 Coliseum Blvd. East Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805 sandstro@ipfw.edu

2 Twin dressed paper images of the water spirit apanchanej are placed in water jars before the main altar in the xochicali ("flower house").

3 Helpers dress sacred paper images in clothing that has been freshly laundered.

4 Helper discusses dressed figure of corn spirit with colleagues.

5 Helpers decorate sacred walking sticks with palm and marigold adornments and handkerchiefs that have been soaked in perfume.

6 Otomí vision specialist, left, discusses decoration of a new walking stick with the ritual specialist who organized the event.

7 Women in background dance before altar as woman, right, folds paper before handing it to the ritual specialist to cut into sacred images. Vision specialist, left, holds ribbons representing the sun’s first rays in the morning, which will be tied to the walking stick on the ritual specialist’s lap.

8 Women dance with sacred walking sticks as woman in background censes with copal.

9 While others dance before the main altar, the vision specialist, at center back, goes into a trance and begins to speak in the voice of spirits.

10 Otomí vision specialist shows exertion as spirits speak through her. She begins by saying, "I am the sacred hill, I am the earth, I am the wind."

11 Otomí vision specialist continues to speak in the voice of the spirits. She states that there is no money, no water, and that everyone is poor. She goes on to relay the message that the ritual offering is appreciated by the spirits as an act of respect.

12 Women hold image of apanchanej, the water spirit, over a nearby spring as Otomí vision specialist, right, looks on.

13 Participants circumambulate the altar to the sun ("cruz afuera") outside of xochicali. Note the hanging paper images of witness spirits that have been tied to a marigold string connected to the main altar inside the shrine.

14 Participants load up offerings for trek to Tres Positos.

15 Participants climb for several hours to reach the first offering site called Ateyahuatl.

16 Upon arriving at Ateyahuatl helpers immediately refurbish an altar table located there.

17 Ateyahuatl is situated on a prehispanic platform mound high in the mountains.

18 Ritual specialists cleanse one another before dedicating offerings at altar.

19 Ritual specialists and participants kneel and chant facing away from altar in background.

20 Blood-soaked sacred paper figures lie beneath altar decorations, sacred walking sticks, dressed paper figures, and the sacrificed birds, which have been boiled on an open fire at the site.

21 After spending the night on the ancient platform, participants load up at dawn for climb to Tres Positos.

22 The summit is reached following an arduous climb of an hour and a half.

23 Participants unload and prepare the site for their altars. Three stone obelisks in foreground have candles leaned against them.

24 Helpers arrange stone slabs that form the altar at the summit of Tres Positos. This prehispanic structure was desecrated, the participants say, by Protestant zealots who disapprove of the traditional religious practices.

25 The view from Tres Positos.

26 Ritual specialist arranges paper decorations on repaired altar surface.

27 The three prehispanic wells that give Tres Positos its name. It is a place where water appears and where the water spirit can be contacted through ritual means.

28 Ritual specialist blows whistle during offering to awaken the spirits.

29 Helper sprinkles blood on array of paper figures on altar.

30 Blood-soaked paper stacks that will be placed before each of the sacred wells and dedicated to the water.

31 Helpers decorate altar after sacrifice of birds.

32 Musicians play as Otomí vision specialist lights copal incense brazier and helper arranges offerings on altar.

33 Offerings on main altar. New carrying bags contain dressed paper images of spirits.

34 Helpers begin to construct altars alongside each of the three sacred wells.

35 Ritual specialist chants before the largest stone obelisk.

36 Offerings have been placed before stone obelisks as ritual offering takes place at altar on top of prehispanic platform mound.


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