Traditional kitchens in the Mixteca are seductive. They have no relationship with what we are used to in the United States. Inside, they are smoky, dark and wonderful. Cleanly dampened and swept dirt floors. No windows but light manages to creep in between the bamboo-like stick walls, and in the small space between the tin or thatched ceiling and the walls. If outside, they are usually covered and open to the air. The smells of freshly made masa from corn grown just outside the door being toasted into a tortilla on a huge clay comal is an unforgettable aroma. And once you taste a real tortilla...well, it's hard to see the relationship between that, and what we are served here at home.
|Francisca Garcia Ferrer|
|Manual corn grinder|
rodent police, garbage collector -- and are actually bought and sold, cats fetch 30-40 pesos -- $2.50-4$! They are not attributed with feelings or needs; it takes a while to get used to the treatment of these domestic creatures. (I remember receiving a letter from home while while in the Peace Corps in El Salvador; my Dad knew our beloved beagle was really sick when he refused a large portion of roast beef....I read this after coming back from the wake of a baby who died in essence from dehydration and starvation..... we don't know how lucky we have it.)
This was the first picture I took at the very beginning of this project, over a year ago. We all felt it had special significance.....and still do!