The Huichol are reputed to be the last native tribe in North America to have maintained their pre-Columbian traditions. The population of 15,000-26,000 lives in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico where they struggle with the common problem of maintaining a traditional way of life in the face of a globalizing culture. Luckily the Huichol have found a sweet way to help preserve their artistic and religious traditions. As Josh reported last year a socially responsible chocolatier and shaman has been giving the profits from the sales of Shaman Chocolates to the Huichol Indians.
In Mayan tradition only the upper classes were deemed worthy of chocolate, but the Huichol share "The Food of the Gods" with everyone. In that tradition, all of the proceeds from Shaman Chocolates goes directly to preserving the Huichol way of life. Notable aspects of their traditions include Shamanism and their visionary artwork including intricate bead-work and yarn paintings.
Brant Secunda, shaman, healer and ceremonial leader in the Huichol Indian tradition founded Shaman Chocolates as an economic vehicle to help the Huichol Indians preserve their ancient ceremonial and healing traditions, vibrant mythology and visionary artwork. Secunda realized that chocolate would be a way to help support the Huichols economic and cultural survival after having a visionary dream that people were eating chocolate and it was filling their bodies with love.
The Huichol Indians consider chocolate a sacred gift from paradise and have used it in ceremonies since time immemorial, leaving it as offerings to show their love for Mother Earth. The Huichols know that gifts of chocolate help people develop and strengthen a mutual love with the earth and with each other.
While I'm not crazy about their new Milk Chocolate with Macadamia Nuts & Hawaiian Pink Sea Salt flavour (it was a hit with my wife and three year old) I really like their other dark chocolate offerings and am always happy to support a worthwhile cause while I get my chocolate fix.
The 2 oz. chocolate bars, which are adorned with Huichol artwork and imagery, are available at retailers nationwide and also can be purchased online at Shaman Chocolates will cost you about $3.
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