I chose a background for my photoshop picture and i chose a sacred site called malinalco which is a sacred temple of warriors and black magicians located in Morelos Mexico. What i did was I put up a photo of a Mexica warrior to represent an ancestor watching Over me and a jaguar because it is a very sacred and powerful animal in our culture. My quote is to shed light on the fact that we are literally a representation of all those who came before us and it is important to carry ourselves in a way that is healthy and that we leave a positive influence and a paved road for the generations to come
Day : To be honest I woke up tired not wanting to go to Wishtoyo because i felt it was going to be hot like the past days i’ve spent in Pitzer college, we got there and we were greeted with a welcoming song and dance by the Chumash tribe, the cool breeze of the beach and the dogs too. I will finish this blog in a bit
Essay draft writing: for this class we continued working on our essay drafts that we did yesterday. But today after we finished typing we were set into groups of 4-5 people where we discussed changes in our papers that should be made, challenges of getting thought onto paper or writing in general and we all gave each other feedback and constructive criticism.
Mayan Math: In mayan math today we got set into groups that were based on our mayan day sign glyph, my glyph is N’oj and i was in the same group as kevin who is lakota from pineridge rez.
Game design workshop:
Sprit games doc with Italian students:
Dream pillow with Julia Bogany: last year I remember we made soap stone necklaces, clapper sticks and baskets. But this year we did something completely different, we were given a little bag which Julia said was called a dream pillow and we didn’t make it but we awew able to color them and decorate them anyway we chose. What I did was I put in the aztec numeral 13 on each four corners of the bag and what that was suppose to represent is that when you multiply 13 by 4, you get 52 and the number 52 is a sacred number in my culture because it is associated with year cycles and correlated with growth and the gestation period of humans. And just for decoration i put in the aztec glyph for Turquoise which is a highly valued stone in my tribes culture along with jade and obsidian. I colored it red because red is a sacred color and is associated with blood (Eztli) and we blood is a very profound and sacred thing and is also representative of the sunset.
DR.Val Thomas: We were sitting in circle and we were talking about some of her history and background as a person of mixed ethnicity and heritage which to be honest was very interesting. She also talked about what she does and teaches in her classes which includes Afro-futurism, decolonization and general history. She also got into genetics and mental fallacies where she started talking about Intergenerational trauma and imposter syndrome which i found to be really cool.
Indigenous games with Hector: It was really cool to be able to re-experience Qechua / Aztec martial arts and discipline and it was really cool to experience the Unison of movement he was talking about. We learned how to do upper, lower, outer and inner blocks and how to shift attackers energy and weight distribution to defend yourself. We also learned how to count in Qechua which was really cool.
Blogging: It was chill, im blogging right now…
I feel bad that there is only two days left in this program, i wish i had more time to get to know everyone better in this program but i’m really happy and thankful for the time i did have and the amazing people i met in this program. I like coming to these programs because i can become friends and bond with people in a way that i cant bond with people at school. with that i want to say that i can’t express enough gratitude or appreciation to all the mentors and most of all the students i met here in the program. Y’all some amazing people and it was very cool learning more about your cultures and your identities as natives and yea, thanks a lot. I appreciate y’all so much even if your somebody i haven’t said much although it doesn’t look like it but y’all make my day. thank you.
My highlight the day was Danza with vicente candonache first thing in the morning. like i said in some past logs, it feels good kind of reconnecting and doing my traditional dances again after three long years of no dancing. I will admit, i have work to do in rememorizing some of these dances, but nonetheless it feels good being back. Aztec math was another thing that was cool because i learned how to play Patolli, a game my people played. Candonache describes it as an oracle that the Universe decides your destiny in the game. The goal is to reach back to the start before the other person starts and it has all the symbols in the aztec calendar so they are 52 spaces you have to pass.
OK, BIGGEST HIGHLIGHT WAS OBVIOUSLY THE HUMAN ANATOMICAL DISSECTION! I learned a lot about the visual and textural differences between healthy hearts and lungs and abnormal ones. Real hearts i mean healthy hearts are roughly about the size of my fist and we examined and carried some hearts and we saw sone abnormal hearts where they were like twice the size of the normal ones. Some of these hearts were so large due to the buildup of calcium within the heart valves and the heart tries to unclog the calcium by pumping blood harder and what that does is the heart partially builds more muscle and also some of the blood gets congested and stuck in the right atrium, the chamber in your heart in which blood gets pumped away, your heart expands and it eventually fails. We also saw a heart with a substitute aortic semilunar valve, the flap of tissue responsible for not letting blood reverse its flow on the way out. Its so blood only flows one way. Another highlight was having a conversation with social justice professors who have been questioned about their identities as tri-racial people who happened to be black, white and native by their own professors in school. They asked people what are their fears of being in college and i brought up the fact that most professors are kind of like one way people so when you tell them your native, they will question your authenticity and cultural affiliations as a native person because they were taught that all natives went extinct when really they are more of us than they picture. So i asked them about how i can speak for myself or on behalf of my people when they assume we gone or that i am not what i said i am and they helped me a lot in terms of what i will say and identifying in what way they will target me like antagonizing me or belittling me because of stereotypes they may have grown with. but yea, i thank everyone for making my day possible, especially my little brother!
My Indigenous culture has had a very large influence on my life, this is because i grew up with elders and parents that taught me not to be ashamed of my culture and to rather embrace it and strive to learn more about it. My biggest inspirations are of course my parents because they are the ones who have been raised in that culture, they gave me a name in my language which i feel is the way to start decolonizing ourselves and they enrolled me in a school that teaches everyone aztec culture, language and heritage. I thank my parents for taking me to ceremony, Danza circles, and other cultural events like Powows, sweats and indigenous people gatherings and these types of programs so i can learn more about not just my culture, but also others peoples cultures. Navajo people are cool. My elder Tata Cuaxle has taught me my language, songs and how to use Aztec instruments and him being a really fun elder to learn from and to gain experience from and that is something i have always looked up to from both Cuaxle and my parents. They three have inspired me to learn what i can about my peoples culture, language and history with the colonizers and i want to take native american/indigenous studies to bring the history and knowledge back to my community to keep the youth woke and to show them that the problems they face in life is a result of colonization and white privilege. On behalf of all natives, i believe we should have easy access to our history, culture and language which is why i want to bring that back to my community and to help fix these problems of colonization by introducing more culture and heritage to the youth.
We started the day off with learning about Aztec battle strategies and formations we used in war. We learned about the diamond, inner and outer circle, straight line, and another one that supposedly intimidated the spanish. Tata Hector and John were our teachers and they taught us discipline, self control and strategy and the knowledge that comes with it. I feel it is mentally and physically challenging and i feel it is physically challenging because of this thing we do that is kind of like horse stance called Pyramid. Its where you do a horse stance position and you left hand grabs your right. I when my legs start to hurt and i feel like collapsing, I prayed to my great grandma, but it was weird because I didn’t have any intentions of praying and i was so sudden like i closed my eyes and started praying. After that we did aztec math and we learned about the divinity of the nepohuantzintzin and how important the nepohuantzintzin was to the aztec people. Nepohuan means to count and tzin is a way of expressing endearment and its kind of like spanish where ito/ita is used to express endearment for example, you can say abuela, but abuelita would show that she extra special to you. We also weaved baskets after lunch and mine came out a lot better than i expected, although not complete, it looks nice and i thing the weaving techniques are from a tribe that is native to the pitzer college area.
Day 3: we woke up and started the morning with Aztec Martial arts and we started by practicing what we remembered the day before which was learning about the discipline, self control, a defense routine and how the martial art correlates and aligns to animals, orbital cycles of stars and planets and mathematics. But anyways, Hector and john who were the people teaching us these martial arts showed us about the center point in a persons energy and balance which is their belly button, i will finish this blog later…