Religious Beliefs. The predominant religion is Catholicism, although pre-Hispanic concepts of understanding and ordering life persist—for example, the cult of the spirits, the veneration of mountains, and the sacred relationship with nature. Sorcerers, witches, and shamans, together with prayer makers and singers, are present in the most important moments in the life of an individual or of the community.
Religious Practices. Mayordomos are in charge of the entire process of arranging religious festivals to honor the patron saint of each community. Besides the patronal festivities, Holy Week, the Day of the Dead, Palm Sunday, and New Year are observed.
Medicine. Medicinal practice is linked to the pre-Hispanic concepts of the body, life, death, health, and sickness. The shaman is an intermediary between the deities and humans. The most common illnesses are mal aire (evil wind), mal de ojo (evil eye), susto (sudden fright), and soul loss. There is also a belief—present in all Mesoamerican belief systems—in tonales (animal protectors) and nahuales (the evil tonales of sorcerers, into which they have the power to change). Knowledge of herbal medicine is widely held. The most frequently used therapeutic methods are the extraction of objects through suction, limpias (cleansing) with bird's eggs, exorcisms, and divination with maize kernels.