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By Roberto Cintli Rodríguez

“If you need to be aware of who you're and the place you return from, stick with the maíz.” That was once the recommendation given to writer Roberto Cintli Rodriguez whilst he used to be investigating the origins and migrations of Mexican peoples within the 4 Corners sector of the United States.

stick with it he did, and his booklet Our Sacred Maíz Is Our Mother adjustments the way in which we glance at Mexican american citizens. now not a lot peoples created because of conflict or invasion, they're humans of the corn, attached via a seven-thousand-year outdated maíz tradition to different Indigenous population of the continent. utilizing corn because the framework for discussing broader problems with wisdom construction and background of belonging, the writer seems to be at how corn used to be incorporated in codices and Mayan texts, the way it was once mentioned by means of elders, and the way it really is represented in theater and tales as a manner of illustrating that Mexicans and Mexican americans percentage a standard culture.

Rodriguez brings jointly scholarly and conventional (elder) wisdom in regards to the lengthy heritage of maíz/corn cultivation and tradition, its roots in Mesoamerica, and its residing courting to Indigenous peoples during the continent, together with Mexicans and crucial americans now residing within the usa. the writer argues that, given the restrictive immigration regulations and well known resentment towards migrants, a persisted connection to maíz tradition demanding situations the social exclusion and discrimination that frames migrants as outsiders and provides them a feeling of belonging no longer encapsulated within the suggestion of citizenship. The “hidden transcripts” of corn in daily culture—art, music, tales, dance, and delicacies (maíz-based meals just like the tortilla)—have nurtured, even throughout centuries of colonialism, the residing maíz tradition of historical knowledge.
 

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Extra info for Our Sacred Maíz Is Our Mother: Indigeneity and Belonging in the Americas

Example text

These are the ways and the tools 6 • Introduction by which the ancient Mesoamericans transmitted their cultures and worldviews and engaged in ceremonial discourse. I also view the four areas of inquiry listed above through a communications and historical prism within the context of colonialism. 6 While colonialism is not unique to the Americas, it does help to contextualize my approach here. This imposed view of the world, as elucidated most poignantly by Jack Forbes in Columbus and Other Cannibals (2011) and Steven Newcomb in Pagans in the Promised Land (2008), maintained that European missionaries and the conquistadores had been sent by God to spread Christianity and civilization to Indigenous peoples, who were under the sway of the devil.

18 Understanding these competing histories helps contextualize the narratives I have examined. 19 Developing this methodology also involved creating research protocols. Okichike ka Centeotzintli • 11 Maíz Methodology: Research Protocols Kenin itech tikitaske kenika tik zaloske nin tlalnamikitliztli kanin to koltsiuaan. Una guía para saber cómo aprender los conocimientos de nuestros abuelos. A guide to learning from the knowledge and wisdom of our ancestors. The protocols that guided my research as a scholar are and have been virtually the most important aspect of this work because they involve transparency and relationships.

Similarly, I examined visual theories that help to explain the use of imagery to inculcate European and Christian ideas in Indigenous peoples (Gruzinski 1993, 1994). These same theories may help to explain the survival and resilience of ancient Indigenous images, iconography, and cultures. In my work, the centeotzintli narratives decenter colonization by restoring the centrality of maíz and of Indigenous history, language, culture, and cosmovision to this continent, including voice. ” Beyond naming, in this work, I take part in the construction of new maíz stories and narratives.

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