Tuesday, November 27, 2012



It is wrong to call them the Rarámuri, this is a word that gave the scientists to the TARAHUMARA people, told me a guide in Creel, the city where we stopped to visit the Tarahumara people. 

I am interested in the life of the Tarahumara people, after I really appreciate their somehow stubborn way of life. They are not so easy to be manipulated. 

They live in and above the canyons of northern Mexico's Sierra Madre Occidental, where we were heading on the train, they retreated five centuries ago from invading Spaniards. 
How is the realtionship between the Tarahumara and the rest of 21st-century Mexico? Tarahumara men work on the farms, I have never seen while traveling there in the canyons and mountains a single man working outside, the women are more in the function to be seen and to be in public. The Tarahumara are reticent and private people who live long distances from each other, in small adobe or wood houses, or caves, or homes partway under outcroppings so that the rock itself provides the roofing. They brew an alcoholic beverage from corn, which they grow in small fields they plow by hand, and on celebratory occasions they gather to pass the drink from person to person, taking swigs from a hollowed half gourd, until they become voluble or dreamy or belligerent and lie down on the ground to sleep it off. I saw few of them just sleeping at the streets, or in the church drunk. Women with their children are going to be dependat on the Mexican who bring them the work, and the tourists. 
And how I heard /there is also some movie about their special skill/ they are extraordinary endurance runners, having lived for generations amid a transportation network of narrow footpaths through the canyons; Rarámuri means "foot-runner" or "he who walks well," and they've been known to irritate American ultramarathoners by beating them while wearing huarache sandals and stopping now and then for a smoke. 
On our trip we went on the train, called Chepe - I wrote about this in the last post - from Los Mochis, at the Pacific Coast to Creel (near is Chihuahua, the final station of the train). 
Creel is a small village, it is one of the gates for tourists wh travel by train to discover the life of this native Americans. Aborigines.   This was a day of a full moon. Beautiful! 
The view from the train.... 


Along the train stations on the way to Creel.

They are 60,000 strong in the Sierras, one of the most isolated and independent tribes in Mexico. I like them, their spirist is deployed by aesthetics and spiritual life. 
Children run around the turists and offer humble the products and want some dolar. If you give, and I often gave, there was no thank you for the proffered coin, even if I asked: what do yous say? There was a silence.
 I thought, that this is a part of their proud, which is very strong. I admire this.   
Thanks to the guide we could see how they live... well, it was strange to enter their house! Even if it is open for "everybody" as you can see the cave isn´t any labyrint... but I was feeling that I am not welcome, even they were humble, shy sitting on the ground and watching quietly. As everywhere we were temepted to buy some of their handmade products also here there were ready to offer us some products... so we bought a lot.  

I suppose that the guide does it with a purpose to bring us here, he is also Tarahumara origin, but one who wanted education, who is just one of the socialized and already modern people, there are such ones... 

 This man allowed me a bit... to take a picture... he had a very warm, so far I think here is the winter not so bad, the wood is a very healthy and firm isolation. He told me: in the winter is very warm inside. 
The bedroom-part of the house where Tarahumara people live.

Here you can see the landscape and the wooden houses, they live in.  

The winter is quite sever. I am wondering how they survive in the open cave?! 

And here we entered thanks to the guide the cave... I was feeling strange....

 They cook and maybe also wash themselves here... this was very surprising corner of the cave.
 The aim of the socialized Tarahumara people is the learn the aborigin to deal well with the rubbish, not to leave it in the nature. They collect it at home.
 The bed and sleeping space. I was very sorry to disturb them like a tourist...
But it was a rare moment... to feel it.

Here they selll their beautiful hand-made products, you must buy it... for all your friends, you can have a gift from the trip... and this is a special trip!!


These Tarahumaras wait at the streets, in the nature.... everywhere where they expect the tourists. Well, there aren´t still so many tourists. I met 3 Americans during our trip. So far, still very pure to be there and share the day with them...

This are the products, handmade... they produce it there, while waiting... from the gras, wool, they use the natural material!! It is so nice, lovely... I bought there many things!! It is cheap and you help them to survive, to live their own life not to accomodate to ours. 

This little girl had a book in a hand!! She was reading or maybe just watching the pictures...
I love that girl...she was so pretty with her brother... see their MULTIcolorful clothes ...so beautiful.

They go in the church, they are christianized by the Spanish conquerors. But they have own rituals. 
By the most recent government count, 106,000 Tarahumara live in Mexico, making them one of the largest indigenous groups in North America; the majority still live in relative isolation in the area Mexico promotes as Copper Canyon, but both the place-name and the image of its inhabitants sketched by tourist outfits ("They live a simple life undisturbed by modern technologies," reads one online write-up) turn out to be fragments, understatements, misleading in the neatness of their packaging.

Creel, the former logging center whose present-day economy depends on the scenic railway line that runs through town. Government planners envision a subsequent hotel boom to accommodate eventual jetloads of new tourists. Officials in Chihuahua, the Mexican state encompassing most of the Tarahumara territory, are courting private investors for a proposed canyon-rim complex—bungee jumps, a chasm-spanning gondola, more hotels, and an "Indian village" for the permanent display of "rituals, ceremonies, and clothes"—to be built farther west on the railway route, along what's now a tourist overlook crowded with Tarahumara vendors. The vendors are nearly all women and children, offering the baskets and weavings they have learned tourists like. Girls not yet old enough for school, or old enough but nonetheless spending their days hawking souvenirs, hold up fistfuls of braided bracelets while repeating the first Spanish they ever learned: "¿Compra?—Want to buy?" 

 And the nature in the forests... they live...


See here in another post more about our trip in Mexico, it is worth to discover.... 

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