piXan (pronounced pi-shán) is the Mayan word for spirit or soul.
When we first approached growing agave in the Yucatan we were informed that we could sell the pina or large pineapple product of the agave tequilana weber to the distillaries in the states of Mexico that produce Tequila. Subsequently we learned that only agave grown in those states can be sold and processed for Tequila.
In the Yucatan there is a young Agave Association and two of the local producers of agave have been talking about building distillaries in the Yucatan, around Valladolid in the center of the state, to distill their own plants and to contract to distill other agave crops in the area.
So we decided that we would go ahead with the project and make our own product. That meant after 6-10 years of growing the plants we would have to have them distilled to our specifications, design and produce bottles, decide on a brand, do the marketing and sell our own Yucatan agave liquor worldwide.
On one visit to Merida with Danny Oseguera, our project manager, we stopped at a bookstore and I purchased a Mayan/English/Spanish dictionary. In Mayan, if you look at a may of the Yucatan peninsula, the letter “X” seems to be in many names of Mayan towns and is pronounced as “sh.” I liked the idea of having the letter “X” in the center of the name of our agave liquor. Diana had the idea of playing with the 2 meanings of spirit(s) in naming our agave liquor. So the first word I looked up was the Mayan word for spirit and found piXan, which is also translated to mean soul. I liked it.
We went right to our attorneys in Merida and asked them to start the process of acquiring the trademark piXan in the alcoholic beverage category. First they had to find out if it was taken. It wasn’t. Then we have to wait 4 months to find out if we succeeded in piXan being accepted. Meanwhile I did some research and found out that Hanal Pixan is the Day of the Dead in the Yucatan and is a very important event, which actually goes on throughout October ending on the Day of the Dead. It is the Mayan way to honor their anscestors through preparing feasts for them and honoring them in speeches and songs and setting up altars with their pictures and favorite foods. And I realized that piXan was not just a word in the Mayan language but part of a famous holiday. Fast forward and at last we received confirmation that piXan was now our trademark in Mexico.
Yes, we also want to honor the Mayan culture that we are in the midst of in the Yucatan. Our intent is to produce the purest, highest quality agave liquor possible in the years to come with the help of our Mayan partners. They have planted every one of our 100,000 agave plants and also care for the plants and our sheep herd.