Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Flow of Things

June 22, 2012

In the jungle of Chiapas many years ago.
San Cristóbal streets are old and narrow and mostly one way. There are no obvious stop signs (at least that we're used to), there are corners that are hard to see around, there are pot holes, people crossing the street in all directions, high curbs, people parking and blocking traffic, etc. With all this, at all types of intersections, the traffic flows smoothly and people get to their destination. It is Zen like.

Real de Guadalupe 1950s looking toward Iglesia de Guadalupe. Will post the "today's" view later.

The view from Iglesia de Guadalupe 1950s.

The night before last the museo had an unusually slow clinic evening. Travel writer, Meg Pier (whose website is From The Pier) had asked me to interview Don Sergio for her website. He started out answering questions like he had hundreds of times before, then in a seamless fluid way he really started talking… then showing photos, then showing examples within his museum. I, his only audience, was able to ask questions and expand upon the things that interested me and discover more about what life was like in this area of Chiapas 40+ years ago. I never completed the first five of Meg's 10 questions.
In the 1970s there was a big flood in San Cris, Don Sergio said this was the northwest part of town.

Same view zoomed out.

This is near the periferico where Sedem Recreational center is, looking to the southwest. The two-story building to the middle right is still present today although appears abandoned.

The flow I recognized as the day started continued well into the evening and ended up with Don Sergio showing me a few items he holds in his private collection (not on display). Thanks to Ms. Pier, and a slow clinic, Don Sergio gave me an animated show-and-tell "recent" history lesson of the people of this Chiapas highland region through his personal stories and life experiences.

Chamula many years ago.

Chamula musical group.

Celebration, notice the Coca-Cola bottles, they may be filled with pox (local moonshine).

Spinning the wool.

Weaving the wool.
Photo from below back strap loom.
Somewhere in the jungle. Don Sergio says there are still undiscovered Mayan ruins.

Young Don Sergio drying coffee beans.
Making a stone oven to make bread.

Lacondon man with the essentials: head-strapped hand-woven back pack, machete and man purse, not sure what is in his right hand. 

Don Sergio expressed admiration for this 108-year-old  Lacondon chief. He pointed out how dark his hair is and that this man was very happy, 'he had six wives', and oddly only eight children. Two of his sons never returned from hunting and the Chief believed they were attacked by jaguars.  The Chief said he never went out to hunt javalina as he would sit in his house and wait for them to come in to eat his corn. Sitting quietly in a corner he shot-off his arrow to kill them at a very close range.
 Posted by P. Ferrer.

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