People of the Corn

ambience: festival noise, music, harp, drum

“The people of the corn.” That’s what the folks in the Mexican state of Chiapas call themselves. We’re at a festival which celebrates the corn crop every April in the city of San Cristobal de las Casas. I’m Jim Metzner. and this is the Pulse of the Planet presented by Dupont. Margarito Ruiz is an organizer of the event.

“The phrase we are saying here is (Juntemos los Granos Perdidos en la obscuridad.) ‘Gather the grains lost in obscurity.’ When we say that, it means that we are those grains. Each man, each woman, each boy, each girl is lost in obscurity. When we have produced a robust ear of corn, it means that the community will become robust, will become united — to take care of our leaders, our earth, our towns, our mountains, our rivers, our caves, our animals…All the creatures in the land are our brothers. This is a necessity.”

ambience: Tzeltal prayer

This prayer, sung in the indigenous language Tzeltal is part of an ancient Mayan ceremony. It asks Mother Earth to give the coming year’s crop of corn all its needs: sun, rain and no disease. It also asks the creator, to see that the world’s people should have what they need, too. Martin Hernandez Perez heads the Coalition of Independent Multiethnic Regions, the organization that sponsored the festival.

“This is a ceremony to remember that corn has made us who we are and has given us a link with all humanity. And when the first rain comes, we give thanks for that.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

music

People of the Corn

For the indigenous people of Chiapas, Mexico, the corn crop embodies their hearts and souls.
Air Date:05/31/2011
Scientist:
Transcript:

ambience: festival noise, music, harp, drum

"The people of the corn." That's what the folks in the Mexican state of Chiapas call themselves. We're at a festival which celebrates the corn crop every April in the city of San Cristobal de las Casas. I'm Jim Metzner. and this is the Pulse of the Planet presented by Dupont. Margarito Ruiz is an organizer of the event.

"The phrase we are saying here is (Juntemos los Granos Perdidos en la obscuridad.) 'Gather the grains lost in obscurity.' When we say that, it means that we are those grains. Each man, each woman, each boy, each girl is lost in obscurity. When we have produced a robust ear of corn, it means that the community will become robust, will become united -- to take care of our leaders, our earth, our towns, our mountains, our rivers, our caves, our animals...All the creatures in the land are our brothers. This is a necessity."

ambience: Tzeltal prayer

This prayer, sung in the indigenous language Tzeltal is part of an ancient Mayan ceremony. It asks Mother Earth to give the coming year's crop of corn all its needs: sun, rain and no disease. It also asks the creator, to see that the world's people should have what they need, too. Martin Hernandez Perez heads the Coalition of Independent Multiethnic Regions, the organization that sponsored the festival.

"This is a ceremony to remember that corn has made us who we are and has given us a link with all humanity. And when the first rain comes, we give thanks for that."

Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.

music