Posts Tagged ‘Ocote’

September 29 was Día Nacional del Maíz (National Day of Corn) in Mexico.  Corn was first cultivated approximately 8,000 years ago in the valley of Oaxaca and native varieties are still grown by the descendants of those original farmers.  This was a day to, not only pay homage to Mother Corn but, as Mexican painter Francisco Toledo reminded those along Oaxaca’s Alcalá, to continue the struggle to defend native corn against impending invasion by Monsanto and its genetically modified seeds.P1130669 The year revolves around the cycle of corn, which is planted in the same fields as beans and squash to make a perfect growing environment.P1130658The cornstalk grows, the bean plant crawls up the corn, and the squash vine sprawls out and shades the ground to keep it moist… Some of the corn is harvested in August and eaten fresh, while the rest is left on the stalks to dry.P1130662All parts of the corn plant are used — kernels, husks (for tamales), cobs (pig feed), and stalks (cow feed).  The dried corn is stored and used in many ways throughout the year.P1130675Text in italics is from the Seasons of My Heart cookbook by Susana Trilling.

The artists of the above, used the signature “olote” which is derived from Nahuatl word, olotl.  In English, it translates to “corncob” and “a nobody.”  Thank you to a couple of “nobodies,” Coral Saucedo and Ricardo Aeme, for such an expressive and beautiful piece of art honoring the sacred corn.

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Just so you know…  The gods are watching you on Tinoco y Palacios, between Morelos and Matamoros.

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Hmmm…. sometime between January, when I first photographed the mural and a few days ago, when I returned, an airplane landed on the tongue.

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Recently, BBCtrending posted the video, Aztec to urban — Mexico’s street art explosion, highlighting the use of Mexico’s pre-Columbian imagery in contemporary street art.  I don’t know the name of the artist who painted the mural above, but seeing the “Dioses Urbanos” of Diego Alvarez (aka, Ocote) in the video, brought it to mind.

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