Sunday, October 25, 2009

agricultural rituals

Each year indigenous peasants celebrate agricultural ceremonies with petition of rain around a great geological fault at the Oztotempa’s hill, close to Zitlala in Guerrrero’s Mountain. These rituals mark the beginning of the agricultural cycle and serving as strategy for conservation of the natural resources in the area, because of the creation of norms that prohibit deforestation; the one who violates these norms is incarcerated. About 30 nahua communalities concentrate around the regional center of the geological fault (el pozo de Oztotempa) to participate in the ceremonies.
These massive nahua pilgrimages are part the agricultural ritual which consists in dances and offerings to the gods requesting for productive harvest. They gather around a small church which contains dozens of cruces representing different communities. They sing prayers asking for fain and for the wellbeing of the people. Their offerings consist in sacrificing live animals by throwing them inside the deep hole. These animals are covered with aromatic flowers (cemaxochiltl) which helps the gods to find their path. For the nahuas this great geological fault represents the center of the universe. Young girls dressing as brides representing the cult to fertility are part of the agricultural rituals.
These agricultural rituals are the result of religious syncretism after 500 years of colonization integrating pre Hispanic beliefs with the European religious intuitions creating a new form with its own cultural identity, according to the article “La ritualidad mesoamericana y los procesos de sincretismo y reelaboracion simbolica despues de la conquista” by Johana Brocha. These agricultural rituals are cyclical and go through along the solar year which is related the climate cycles and the natural environment.