Los Guardianes del Maíz/ The Keepers of Corn
Saturday, October 15, 6:30 pm
Location: Tucson Children’s Museum Lawn
For thousands of years, native farmers in the Mexican state of Oaxaca have kept alive a system of seed exchanges that, like oral almanacs, have brought the collective knowledge of traditional milpa farming methods into the Twenty-first Century.
Indigenous farmers, artisans, and cooks all tell this story – in Spanish and in their own languages – of the origins of native corn and how their ancestors shepherded the ever-evolving seeds out of the dawn of agriculture and into the 21st Century; collective labor involving over 350 generations. Their voices are joined by community leaders, scientists, chefs, and others whose knowledge and activism stand, not only in defense of food sovereignty and the genetic integrity, diversity, and community ownership of native seeds but in defense of a durable cultural legacy and a way of life.
One such seed exchange takes place in the town of Ejido Unión Zapata, in whose province lie the caves of Guila Naquitz. Today the caves are cataloged as a World Cultural Heritage Center by UNESCO, whose website describes them as containing, “the earliest known evidence of domesticated plants in the continent, while corn cob fragments from the same cave are said to be the earliest documented evidence for the domestication of maize. “
Directed by Gustavo Vazquez
Spanish with English subtitles
Screening sponsored by Tucson City of Gastronomy and Pueblos del Maiz