Saturday, November 12, 2005

Another Perspective

They call themselves Purepechos and live in the mountains of central Mexico's State of Michoacan. They had been a strong empire feared by and never giving in to the Aztecs. In a way they still are. Anthropologists call them Tarascans. Anthropologists, however, have not the slightest notion of the language, religion, or culture. The Purepechos keep it that way. Though the Purepechos have successfully rejected and protected themselves from destructive enroachment, the information block is one way.
They are not unaware of what goes on around them and may understand it more than those closer to events.

Purepecho art is distinctive in its bright colors and often exagerated humorous topic. We recently attended an artisan exibit that hosted several tables of Purepecho figurines. One two foot tall piece in particular caused raised eyebrows and frowns from passing gringos but brought approving smiles from Mexicans. As my laughter subsided, I asked if I could return the next day and photograph it. The lady graciously granted permission in what seemed to have been her pleasurable surprise to encounter a gringo who empathized with the outlook of her people.

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