Thursday, November 26, 2009


kuira"Kuira" (quee rah) is a greeting of the Raramuri people of Northwest Mexico. This indigineous group lives along the rim and canyon areas of the Sierra Tarahumara and the Copper Canyon, where we traveled last week.
A ten hour train ride took us from the town of El Fuerte to Creel, located in the heart of this area. The beautiful and open expanse of this canyon area was breathtaking to behold, and the Raramuri (all ages) were ever present as sellers of their handmade goods: baskets, carvings, and sewn items. The women wore beautifully crafted traditional dress of brightly colored skirts and blouses, and babies were often held to their back in a shawl. Small children would run up with baskets of trinkets to show us, and then would head back to their mothers who were making more items right there on site.parade5
The Raramuri speak their own language and live a harsh existence along the rim and into the canyons of this rugged terrain. I  witnessed many groups of women doing their laundry at river beds, and hanging the clothes to dry on fenceposts. Their beautiful outer garments contain meters of cotton, so I just couldn't imagine doing all that washing at the local stream, soaping, rinsing, hanging to dry... this certainly gave me a renewed appreciation for EVERYTHING!
master sewerOne women gave me reason to pause as I watched her sew one appeared to be a running stitch to later be gathered on her expanse of muslin. Maybe an undergarment? Maybe some bedding? She obviously had been doing this for many years, stitch after stitch, the memory of the needle through her fingers strong and firm. I felt a small connection with her and that repetitious task, yet also knew that somehow I had been blessed with a much easier life. I don't think I'll forget her.

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