“I was called upon in a dream to become the voice of my people, to teach them to never lose their identity, to always be Raramuri. For 20 years I have written and shared songs in Raramuri about our culture, about all of our relations. I teach children in school and the community to honor the traditional ways, to honor their identity… When we gather again following the harvest, we shall do so as our grandfathers did, in ceremony. When the children gather to race, as is our tradition, they shall do so in ceremony. They shall honor the Mother Earth. They shall show gratitude to Onoruame for the rain, the harvest, the food. They shall be part of Nature, part of those mountains, the water, the wind, not apart. They shall honor Onoruame first with blessings and offerings, song of Yumari, and dance. Then, they shall partake of Tonari.”
The Busuréliame Project for cultural education and “awakening”conducts monthly cultural education workshops and weekly follow-up sessions for 80 children from five communities in the Rebellion Tarahumara Grade school in Bajichi, Municipio Urique.
Busuréliame is Raramuri for ‘Awakening to the Union of Self, Community, Nature and Spirit’.
In many communities, elders in possession of Tarahumara knowledge and ceremonial experience have passed on. Traditional ceremonies have become more superficial, shorter in duration, more folkloric than spiritual, and increasingly, abandoned altogether.
Many youth are not learning the traditions.
Schools with an inadequate bilingual education are also problematic, leaving children behind in both traditional and academic education, not knowing where they fit into the world around them, and vulnerable to drugs and alcohol. Few continue their education beyond 6th grade.
Thanks to this initiative, the children of Rebellion Tarahumara grade school will receive 4 weeks of cultural education in Raramuri with Maestro Makawi, and four weeks of follow-up sessions with Tarahumara apprentices of Makawi. There will also be two regional ceremonies that will include traditional races, Yumari and other traditional forms of dance, and offerings to the Spirit, Onoruame.