Monday, February 15, 2010

I have visited many many villages and during the last ten years I have noticed the decline in planting of corn. It is hard work and many of the modern indigenous sons would rather not do it, they prefer to move away, either to the US or Mexico City to do day labor jobs and find a new life as a poor Mexican rather than a poor Indigenous person. While my focus is on documenting the traditional textiles which also represent a tie to the deep indigenous roots, to me nothing more clearly represents the indigenous ties to the earth than farming and in particular the farming of corn. Many of the holidays correspond to ancient agricultural calendars and are now called "Saints" days but are more in line with the cycle used in agriculture.

During a visit to the remote high mountain area of Mexico, In a small village I founds a poem written on the side of a building . On the other side of the building was a glyph representing a man and a woman adoring corn, with them a snake, ants and birds. The glyph was framed with the words " Indigenous communities united in defense of Corn and our culture". I hope by publishing this some how in my small way to help non indigenous people understand that progress does not have to destroy these cultures and the transgenic corn is a direct assault on the indigenous cultures of Mexico and other meso American areas

We are the Corn\

To Mi son
A poem - “Tata maiz” ( grandfather corn)

Corn is not to be thrown away
Nor to trample on it
Nor forget it
Because corn means our lives and the life of god
The Corn is our Father and our Mother
It is also our sons
Corn is us ( male and female)
Corn is our Father and Mother , because it gives us life
Because it gives us unity and identity
Like children from the same family and community
It shows us to love our mother earth and not to abandon her
Through corn rituals and offerings we discover God ,
Corn is our father and mother because we inherited our bodies, our blood and our heart
Through corn , we inherited our color and our language.
It shows us the universe
And to celebrate our the knowledge of our people and family
Corn is our father and mother because when we are sick it provides medicine
WE have to treat it like a son, we have to take care of it
We have to cultivate it, so it is always with us and never leaves
We have to give it our respect

to My son – respect it , because there ( in the Corn) are your grandparents and there you are too.