Identifying with one's culture combined with understanding and respect for our neighbors' ways is the foundation to peace. Combine that with a cultural understanding of our ways in and with nature, we receive a triumvirate of knowledge. WildPlaces projects always include some element of culture identity, within and between cultures and seen through the lense of Nature culture. Also called nature ethic or reverence, it has and is historically been expressed in every language in every corner of the planet, though the modern age sees it slipping away. All over, people are experiencing not only a disconnect from their own culture and ways but also a profound loss of connection from Nature. For our work at WildPlaces, this is a problem and a challenge.
The Solution for us is to show at every opportunity that all grandmothers, parents, siblings, and two-spirit relations share a common thread, whether it is food on the land, crafts and textiles made by the hand, dance and song felt in the heart, or language and stories told around the fire. The examples are ABUNDANT and they SURVIVE even in these harsh days of perceived assimilation, greed, and control.
" Don't let it get you down. At WildPlaces, we don't', says some volunteer a long time ago.
Calpulli Tepeyollotl Cuahuitlan is Culture at WildPlaces
Heroes of the world, the importance of connecting to nature is ever more critical. Amidst political mischief, we face the dangers of deforestation, desertification and, ultimately, the commodification of resources provided by the earth. Our actions, behaviour and activism are evermore critical to preserve the wilderness. People must come together to foster a community that respects and holds reverence for the great spirit.
Every living being on earth is an example of the great spirit; whether it is a plant, flower or tree, ancient indigenous communities from every race have their own creation stories that teach this truth. Our group, the Calpulli Tepeyollotl Cuahuitlan, is one community that dances to pay tribute to our great mother.
The name of our Danza group can be broken down as follows:
Calpulli - large house/unit
Tepeyollotl - heart of the mountains
Cuahuitlan - place of the trees
We named our group Calpulli Tepeyollotl Cuahuitlan because we share this mountain land with all sentient beings, including the Giant Sequoia, therefore, our dance pays homage to our great mother with each movement holding a deep meaning of respect and reverence for our mother.
After an 8 year pilgrimage, the evolution of our Temazcalli manifested as a result of our willingness to deepen the meaning of our dance by understanding the powers of fire and water along with various medicinal herbs.
Thanks to our local indigenous communities and organizations who have helped form this danza group to what it is today: a hub for cultural identity. The time has come to have dance practice on a regular basis followed by temazcalli.
Yours in faith, Xavier Xico Garza, Danza and Sweat Leader, Springville, C