"I believe in my customs, and I help in the fiestas and participate when the men go hunting. My goal is to become a curandero, or healer…."
"Hello. My name is Santos Soltero Hernández; in the language of our people it is Witxeteme, which means 'young eagle.' I was born on April 10, 1987, high in the Huichol sierra where I live with my family. We go to the city to sell our works, because no one comes up into the remote mountains to buy them. Our entire community works at farming, but we make things to sell because life in the village is difficult.
"Ever since I was a little boy I've watched my mother and father working with tiny chaquira beads and with them I learned to combine colors. I like to make designs that are different from the rest. I also help my mother [Hamaiwi, a Novica-featured artisan] and she has her own designs. Everything we put on the figurines, gourd bowls and pictures is part of what we believe and they help the gods understand our prayers.
"If we are going to make a figurine, first we carve it from wood. Or with guaje gourds, we clean them to obtain a smooth surface, and we coat them with beeswax. Then we place the beads one by one, positioning them with the help of a needle. First I imagine my designs, and then I put them on the object I'm making.
"I believe in my customs and I help in the fiestas and participate when the men go hunting. My goal is to become a curandero, or healer so I can help my people, those who are ill."
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