The mission of the Dance of the Deer Foundation Center for Shamanic Studies is to preserve the Huichol culture and its shamanic practices and traditions. The foundation was established in 1979 by Brant Secunda to carry on the vision of his grandfather and teacher, don José Matsuwa, the renowned Huichol shaman. Don José’s vision was to leave Brant in his place to carry on the sacred traditions and to teach Huichol shamanism.
Don José believed that the healing traditions are available for everyone who has an open heart. He also believed that when people learn about the inherent beauty and healing power found in the Huichol way of life, they would want to support the cultural and spiritual survival of the Huichol Indians. To bring don José’s visions to life, Brant Secunda established the Dance of the Deer Foundation Center for Shamanic Studies.
The foundation sponsors Brant Secunda’s workshops throughout the world, including pilgrimages, vision quests, and holistic medical conferences. Participants learn the sacred Huichol traditions. These traditions reunite people to the source of all life in order to help heal the earth, our communities, and ourselves.
The Dance of the Deer Foundation works with several villages to provide economic solutions which help the Huichol people to return to their land, their traditional way of life and their ceremonies. The foundation’s efforts have made it possible for the Huichols to move further away from town, to live more traditionally, to preserve their corn farming and sacred art traditions so that they are not forced to work on tobacco or coffee plantations or in other industrial areas. For this reason, proceeds from all the foundation’s activities go directly to the Huichols, to don José’s village and extended family. The Dance of the Deer Foundation is helping the Huichol Indians to maintain both their rich cultural heritage and their spiritual and healing traditions.