Our Leader and Our Tradition

Our Caporal Mayor, don David Wiley

We offer our deepest thanks and respect to our caporal mayor, also known as temachtian, don David Wiley. He continues to lead us with courage, insight and patience since our tradition's previous leader, his predecessor don Lucio Campos, passed away in 2005. Don David leads over seventy of us quiatlzques (the Nahuatl name for weather workers). We do our work at our home regions in Mexico, across the USA, and in the United Kingdom.

don David Wiley granicero Asheville weather workers
don David Wiley
don Lucio granicero Asheville weather workers
don Lucio Campos

Our Nahua Lineage

The following information is from don David Wiley's website, keepsthefire.org
The area of the Nahua people of the central highlands of Mexico, the homeland of our weather work tradition.
The area of the Nahua people of the central highlands of Mexico, the homeland of our weather work tradition.

The Nahua

The central highlands of Mexico are home to the largest population of the indigenous peoples known as the Nahua. Concentrated in small villages scattered throughout the mountains and valleys of this land, the Nahua have practiced their time-honored traditions that see the natural world as alive and sacred. After the Spanish Conquest and a period of colonization in the early to late 1500’s, the Nahua learned to protect their traditions through hiding and blending their views, ceremonies and processes with Catholic symbolism and approaches (syncretism). For instance, many of their annual cyclic ceremonies are masked behind Catholic saint celebrations. These ceremonies are performed in order to maintain the natural order and ask for blessings and support from a variety of divine expressions. They believe that sickness can be the result of a disruption of the natural order and are known for their use of shamans, often called tepahtiani or curanderos, where they employ rituals, herbs, cleanings (limpias) and ritual sweat baths, called temezcallis to treat a wide variety of illnesses.

Asheville weather workers
Sacred offerings in the tradition of the qualtzques, or Nahua weather workers

The Path of a Granicero

In the days before and during the arrival of Europeans these people were known in the Nahua villages as a quiatlzques, or someone who makes “watery” arrive or a quiapaquiz, someone that makes moisture rise up and inundates the land. Today, in Spanish they are more likely to be called trabajadores del tiempio (“workers of the rain-time”, or tiemperos for short), graniceros (“one who works with hail and storms”) or pedidores de agua(“petitioners for water”). In the common use of English they are simply called “weather workers.”

Being called to this path begins with a clear sign that a person is being asked to act as an emissary between the weather gods and the people. This can come from surviving a lightening strike, special dreams or unusual illnesses. Once the calling is authenticated by an elder granicero, sometimes called a caporal mayoror a temachtian, the tiempero will undergo a process of initiation and learning in order to bring rains or intervene when strong storms arrive.

 

Read about Casa Xiuhtecuhtli, the home of our tradition.

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