Sunday, December 7, 2008
I met a new friend in Oaxaca, well not completely new, we had a chance to do some hiking together during my last trip in March 08, but got a chance to do more walking/hiking/traveling together on this trip. I really enjoyed her company, and she is one of the few people who can keep up with my walking pace. We are "twins" in that we both wear identical orthopedic devices in our shoes for our plantar faciitis. She was really fun to hang out with, and I want to travel/visit with her sometime in 09.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Born August 8, 1879, he was a small farmer who did not own the land he worked.
This is how you can buy chickens, select the one you want and the seller pokes an airhole, puts in some cracked corn and places the chick in a plastic bag, might sound cruel, but remember this chick gets to live out his days running around outside, instead of living on a factory farm.
and lastly, saddles and sombreros are basic items sold here.
from the mercado in Huatla de Jimenez high in the Sierra Mazateca.
In the market, which draws people from remote villages even higher in the mountains, you can still hear the Mazateca language being spoken. To my uneducated ears the idioma sounds somewhat like the Chinese I hear spoken in our local Chinese restaurant, even though I am sure that linguistically not at all realated.
- Photo notes:
hot chilie peppers (as a general rule, the smaller the pepper the hotter the flavor) and the young ear and stalk of a kind of corn they grow in this region.
- Gardenias (not for food), a kind of plam nut that is prepared by cooking in bananna leaves and then eaten with goat barbacoa, and the red substance is achoite paste(comination of crushed achiote seed, vinegar, salt, garlic and spices which is typically formed into a small block. The paste is then diluted and added to stews or used as a rub for meats. ) I saw the achoite trees growing all along the roadside on the way to this town, the photo is of the seed pods. In Oacxaca, the plant is also used as a dye for rugs and textiles, however, cochinilla is used more often for the red color.
- the picuture of what looks like green peas is acutally a type of coffee plant, I was told that the beans are cooked and eaten
- calla lilies, beans, peppers.
- and just to remind you that this is the village of Maria Sabina, the legendary Mazatec female shaman.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Maria Sabina had visions on the "little saints" that someone (Wasson) was coming and would take the tradition to the world after 500 years of secrecy under Spanish rule. As a result of that action, giving the secrets of the "little saints" to outsiders, her son was murdered and her house burned to the ground. During the later years of her life she lamented that "the power of the sacrament had been lost in the clouds," and ending up speaking English instead of the Mazatec. She lived to age 91, passing away on November 22, 1985.
In 1955, ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson visited her hometown of Huautla de Jimenez, Oaxaca, and brought spores of the fungus, which he identified as Psilocybe mexicana to Europe where the fungus was cultivated its active ingredient was later duplicated as the chemical psilocybin in the laboratory by Albert Hofmann in 1958.
American youth began seeking out Sabina and the "holy children" as early as 1962, and in the years that followed, thousands of counterculture mushroom seekers, scientists, and others arrived in the Sierra Mazateca. Sabina cultivated relationships with several of them, including Wasson, who became something of a friend. It is rumored, that many important 60s celebrities visited María Sabina, including rock stars such as Bob Dylan and John Lennon.
Eventually the lack of respect for the sacred and traditional purposes caused Sabina to say that she felt that the ceremony of the mushrooms had been desecrated and polluted by the hedonistic use: "From the moment the foreigners arrived, the 'holy children' lost their purity. They lost their force, they ruined them. Henceforth they will no longer work. There is no remedy for it."
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
As J. says....the Mexicans are not really Catholic....
Here are pictures of the church in Huautla de Jimenez (a Mazatec high in the mountains of N. Oaxaca)
Preparing for a fiesta in the church (the virgin of Candelaria, I think)
Venders selling all that is needed for the ceremony, copal (a resin used for many thousands of years by all the indigenous peoples of Mexico) cacao beans (chocolate beans), candles, bark paper for writing sacred words, candles, and eggs (represents the soul, spirit, and the eternal cycle of life)
(the first two pictures are in the cathedral and the third is outside and shows those stubborn mules that are part of the story of why this virgin is in Oaxaca)
The most famous Virgin in Mexico, is of course, the virgin of Guadalupe, but there are many more. The state of Oaxaca has several. In the city of Oaxaca, the Virgin of Soledad has her own cathedral, and of course, her own set of miracles.
Here is the legend, from this web site, if you want to read more
In 1620 a mule train camped outside the city of Oaxaca discovered an extra mule which did not belong to anyone in the group. The mule refused to move and when prodded rolled over and died. When the pack it carried was opened, it was found to contain the statue of the Virgin of Soledad. Taking this as a sign from heaven,a church was built and later basilica which stands today on the spot where the statue first appeared. The statue was clothed in luxurious velvet robes embroidered with gold and pearls and wore a golden crown, much as you see her now in the Basilica.
Because of this miraculous selection of Oaxaca by the Virgin she became the parton saint.
The Virgin had a number of other robes, jewels and golden crowns. Several years ago, there was a robbery of some of the Virgin's jewels. The patroness of Oaxaca still has a crown and a number of beautiful robes.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Aqui esta un foto de mi nuevo amigo. Yo creo que el es guapo y tambien intelligente.
(Here is a photo of my new friend. I think he is handsome and intelligent)
Su nombre es Antonio y el es un estudiante a Learning Center. Tambien, Antonio trabaja muy duro en la escuela. El hace daysayuno y limpia los cuartos perfectamente.
(His name is Antonio and he is a student in the Learning Center. Also, Antonio works very hard in the center. He makes breakfast and cleans the rooms perfectly.
Predigo que él será muy exitoso en su vida.
( I predict that Antonie will be very successful in his life)
I do not know what kind of edible flowers are displayed in the second picture, but I was told they were sweet. and the last picture is the lime seller, the reason for the lime is explaned below.