Eating our ancestors: Indigenous place, diasporic space and the always uninvited guest
June 15, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am UTC+0
In my recent travels tracing family migration stories, being an uninvited guest on my own ancestral homelands in traditional P’urhépecha territory, I took great pause to process and integrate the liminal space of home-not-home through my presence during traditional Juriatikua Uariri (Day of the Dead) ceremonies. As a member of the Xicana diaspora my connection to Indigenous land, language and culture has been broken over generations of migration arising as necessity from colonial structures. My greatest resource in cultural recovery, of finding belonging even in the liminal space of home-not-home, has been my own body-as-earth connection and awakening. Finding home in my own brown body and listening to ancestral-earth intuitions allows me to participate at the site of my flesh as a we rather than an I. Juriatikua Uariri an Indigenous ceremony of the P’urhépecha people, honors the recently deceased ancestors and calls on them to visit our table, our altar, our home. The altar bread, now imbued with the threshold wisdom of the dead, visits our bodies and beings as we ingest it and it becomes a part of us. I offer a multi-media performance of my respectful embodied interpretation of this sacred tradition of my ancestors. I ask them to bless and assist me, and us all, as I offer and imbibe, with potluck guests, the bread and tequila and tobacco from my first Day of the Dead ceremony on ancestral lands in Patzcuaro, Mexico.
June 15, 2017