Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

November 11, 2023

Zapatistas -- Part 8: PS What You Have to Read to Know What It's About


El Capitan (formerly Marcos)

Traduzione Italiano (Italian)
Deutsch Übersetzung (German)
Ελληνική μετάφραση (Greek)

November 2023.

Legend has it that, in the times when time did not matter, rain and night covered the House of Beings. Then the power went out. Everything was darkness. Women, men and others were stumbling and colliding with each other. For this reason, they argued and fought between brothers and neighbors. They didn't even recognize each other, even though they were family members and acquaintances, because it was very dark. They scolded each other a lot.

The first gods, those who created the world, were lazy, lying in their hammocks, telling jokes and stories. But the noise in the House of Beings reached them. “Whose noise is this? ” one asked. “ Who knows ,” said another. Ixmucané, who was the mother goddess, said: " Let's see what the noise is about ." But when she got out of the hammock, she fell and her face landed on the ground and it looked like it was dented, that is, like it had cracks. Ixmucané got up from the ground and did not swear because swear words had not yet been invented. She dusted herself off. She raised her nagua a little and ran towards the House of Beings.

The gods looked at each other and said nothing, but they thought, “Is a woman going to beat us? ” and they got down from their hammocks, but carefully, and ran to catch up with the Ixmucané. But it turns out that, since they had been lazy, they had not scavenged their place and there was a lot of bush. Pure acahual, then. There was an abundance of tzaw ch'ix (thorns), dry branches, cut grass (which is also called gezau h'ak ) and ch'oox tz'an , which is a vine with thorns. But there they go running and jumping as best they can and complaining on the slide, those gods, because they were not going to allow a woman to beat them. They later arrived at the House of Beings, all scratched and dented on their faces and hands. But no one looked at them because they were all beaten up, because there was no light. That is why it is believed that the gods do not have wounds.

The gods didn't look at anything either. Everything was dark. Just by the sound you knew there were more people. “ And pray? ”, the gods asked themselves. Ixmucané did not wonder anything, but rather he stayed thinking. The male gods were always very boastful and began to say that you have to go for ocote. Another thing is that we have to invent the spotlight and the lamp. Another one had to gather a lot of fireflies. And so.

Ixmucané thought: “ We have to replace the light. But to replace it, we have to find it. And to find it, we have to know where to look for it. And to know where to look for it, we simply have to know what happened .”

Ixmucané gathered the men, women and others of corn. At that time there were only men, women and other corn women, they were of many colors and each one had their own style. There were no religions, no nations, no States, no political parties, nor everything that was born later as seeds of war. So, when Ixmucané said “come, little brothers and sisters,” guided by her voice, all the men and women arrived, and also others - because they did not feel excluded -.

So they met in an assembly. They didn't look at each other because there was no light, but they could talk and listen to each other.

The Ixmucané asked them “ What are we going to do?” ”. The men, women and others did not look at each other - because there was no light - but remained silent. Until a voice said, “ Well, you tell us what we are going to do .” The applause was not seen, but it was clearly heard. Ixmucané laughed heartily and said, “ Perhaps I know. We don't know per se, but maybe gathered together, in an assembly and talking, suddenly some ideas come out about what we are going to do . They were all silent, wondering what they were going to do.

The only noise that could be heard was the noise of the male gods who were fighting among themselves, that where the hell was the ocote, that if someone remembered to create the fireflies, that if it was not me, that if that was up to I don't know who in itself becomes a duck, and what is a “duck” if the ducks are not yet made. And so.

In the assembly they were already talking and proposing how to do it. First just a few voices, then more. Then they had to make a turn order to speak and have someone write if there is an agreement. Since there was no light to write or read, there was only the spoken word, so they named the Ixmucané who keeps what is said in her head and then talks about it.

Many ideas and words were said, and they no longer fit in his Ixmucané head. Then she began to keep them in her hair and her hair began to grow long, that's why women have long hair. But then it wasn't enough either, although she was arranging her hair and that's when the “hair press” was invented, which, as her name indicates, means “grab ideas.” Their Ixmucané hair was already reaching the ground and they continued speaking ideas and words. Then Ixmucané began to keep her ideas in the wounds she had gotten when she fell and with the thorns and vines. Everywhere she had wounds: on her face, on her arms, on her hands, on her legs. Her entire body was full of wounds, so she was able to save everything from her. That's why they say that old people, of judgment, because they have many wrinkles and scars, means that they have many ideas and stories. So she knows a lot.

In another turn I will tell you what they agreed on in that first assembly that took place in the House of Beings, but in this one I will tell you what the Ixmucané said: "Well, we already have, as it were, a plan to face this problem that we have. " . Since the world is just being born and we are giving a name to each thing or case, according to, so as not to confuse us, we are going to call what we did "in common", because we all participate: some giving some ideas, others proposing others, and There are those who speak and there are those who keep notes of what is said .”

There was silence first. Heavy, strong was the silence. Then you began to hear one applaud, then another, then everyone applauded and you could hear that they were very happy. And they didn't dance because there weren't even any mothers to be seen. But they laughed a lot because they had found a new word called “ in common ,” which means “ to seek the path together .” And it was not that the first gods invented it, those who created the world, but it was the men, women, and others of corn, who, in common, found the word, that is, the way.


Ixmucané was the most knowledgeable of all the gods and, as she was the first to arrive at the House of Beings, she had more wounds, from the fall and from the race she did in the acahual, and thus she was marked with those scars. “Wrinkles” and “scars,” they were called. Since then, wrinkles and scars represent wisdom. More wrinkles and scars, more knowledge. Of course, at that time there were no social networks and no one was wearing makeup and modifying her photos with a well-known virtual application. And then it happens that you see the profile photo and then you see reality, and you want to run away. No, the wrinkles and scars were a source of pride and not just any. Even young men and women painted wrinkles and scars, or simply went into the mountains so that the thorns and vines scratched their faces. Because it didn't matter who was prettier or prettier, but rather who was more knowledgeable or knowledgeable. Instead of “ followers ” ​​and “ likes ” they looked for who had the most wrinkles and scars.

And that's it.


Yes, I would also like to know what happened to the lost light. Maybe later, in another postscript, we will know. For now, we have to learn to walk and live like this in the dark. No ways.

From the mountains of the mexican southeast.


November 2023. 40, 30, 20, 10 years later.

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