Saturday, December 29, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The tradition runs deep in the Latino collective memory since tamales predate most of western “civilization”. Tamales can be traced back as early as 5000 BC. They were served as a nutritious and portable food for Aztec, Mayan, and Incan warriors. It is understood that the Aztecs greeted their incoming conquerors with the tightly wrapped festival food. Mexicans and Americans of Mexican descent celebrate by sharing this tradition of generosity and good will by making and then giving out tamales as gifts.
If you have never done it it’s quite a process. Soak the leaves, dry them, and sort them. Manteca and your hands in the messy masa to get just the right consistency, it’s an art in itself. Then make the filling, whatever you wish. Tradition for some says de vendado as a friend reminded me and then started the debate about border town puerco and red sauce and is it true that pina and cinnamon are now called nouvelle/fusion/ pochada tamales? All I know was that it was messy, creative, and lots of fun! I felt like I was home.
When we figured out the right consistency, we were ready to spread the masa, add the filling, roll, tie in a bundle, and steam. We each shared memories of making them and tried to remember the tips from elders about each step. Thanks to ancestors our tamalada gave us several dozen to share among us. As the TexMex music continued to play in the background and the kitchen was filled with leaves, masa, and the smell of garlic and fresh steamed tamales; we sat back and smiled. We realized we had done a good job; it had been our turn to keep the tradition alive.
Happy holidays to you and yours….and I wish you peace, love, and TAMALES!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Mexicans and those of Mexican ancestry everywhere celebrated La Virgen Morena or La Virgen de Guadalupe, aka Tonatzin, Mother of all Gods, who appeared before an indigenous man the Spanish named Juan Diego on the Cerro de Tepeyac one December day in 1531. Her image was forever imprinted on the cloth tilma he was wearing as proof of her visit.
Whether or not you're a believer, one thing is clear the weight of Guadalupe in Mexican culture. She is omnipresent not only in the spiritual sense but in the concrete sense. Her image graces nearly every home altar, taqueria, and tienda; anywhere her people are, you will find Guadalupe. She is seen as the leader of the oppressed and hope where there is none. Children dress in traditional clothing and reenact the scene and many artists celebrate her in their work.
Home garden altar
Guad Art Car
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Attended the opening of the show which celebrated 50 years with 50 past winners, it was a good time seeing old friends and celebrating art!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Harvesting Poison reminds us that as we disrespect nature in the name of profit we not only damage the environment for the generations that follow but all who are a part of it today.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
National Coming Out Day is an internationally observed civil awareness day for coming out and having discussions about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, queer and questioning GLBTQ (GLTBQ)issues. It is observed on October 11 by members of the community and their allies because October is LGBTQ History Month in the US. Knowing history of heros and sheros in any civil rights movement gives a place to connect, to stand in solidarity.
Its important for members of any community to be recognized for all of who they are and to be treated with respect. Don't let fear that someone might believe different from you get in the way of getting to know someone, you just might find a treasure.There are many LGBTQ people who feel they have to watch pronouns in conversations and don't feel comfortable discussing what happened over the weekend, something many people take for granted. Fear of rejection, and as history has shown danger, and death can be a real reaction to telling the truth. Its a difficult and personal decision one makes. Many of us have lost family, friends, jobs, housing, health care, and so on just for sharing all of who we are and who we share our life with... If you have come out today, congrats and welcome to a life of being all of who you are where ever you are... for those of us celebrating....hold hands with your loved one and know that your relationships are valued no matter what others may try to tell you. Love is Love...in solidarity
Monday, October 01, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
This year the Arkansas Arts Center will be celebrating the 50th year of the Annual Delta Exhibition. This is a regional juried exhibition of all media. The Art Center is organizing a show of as many of the pat 50 winners scheduled for Dec - Jan 2008. As a past winner I am excited to have an opportunity to share once again the story of the missing and murdered women and girls.
When I won this exhibit main stream media did not show pictures of the work as they have for other winners. There was no mention of my name, only the second and third winners with photos. I can only imagine what got in thier way... Was it the fact that it was fabric and not really art? Maybe it was fabric and thats supposed to be soft. One of the many reasons I use textiles is to take a soft approach to tough subjects, the bright colors and images draw in the viewer and then they get hit with the message.
Why was it that only the Latino newspapers covered the fact that a Latina won a juried regional art show?(they even used pictures) Was it because of the topic? Bringing attention to the fact that mostly poor Mexican women and girls have been murdered and missing for years and no one seems to care. Most of them were working in the U.S. owned maquiladoras, factories in poor border towns, when they were abducted.
Or was it the traditional images that my people use to honor and remember the dead that bothered them? Skeletons are symbols that the soul is eternal and the final death takes place when there is no one left to remember you.
What ever thier reason it will be back on exhibit. And for me with or without media coverage once again I will be honored to be able to show the work, stand beside it at the opening, and tell the stories.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
If you have Hummingbird medicine, you adapt easily to whatever situation you may find yourself in, and make the most of your new circumstances. You don't waste time looking back and wishing for "what was" for you are concerned with making the most of "what is". You take great pleasure in spreading joy and love and beauty to all around you, and have the gift of taking that inner joy into new and different surroundings.