Cultural Survival Quarterly Magazine

Chicueyaco: Daily Life in a Nahua Village

Juanita Chepe wakes up early to make breakfast for Antonia, her 84-year-old mother, before beginning her 45-minute walk and bus ride to her job in the neighboring town of Cuetzalan. Along with 70 other Nahua families, Juanita and her mother live in Chicueyaco, a small, mountainous village three hours North of Peubla, Mexico.

On the Air

Miguelito is nine years old, but I address him as “Señor Presidente” with only a hint of irony. Hearing the title makes him smile, but not with embarrassment. Miguelito was elected president by his peers, the members of the youth auxiliary group of Radio Sembrador in San Pedro la Laguna, Solola. He speaks with a self-confidence befitting his office.

Forest Fighter

Ten years before Almir Narayamoga Surui was born, in the 1970s, the Surui tribe of Brazil consisted of 700 people living traditionally in the Amazon rainforest in the state of Rondonia.

The Other Side of the Mountain

We had come to free a mountain. Amidst the mundane morning activities of lighting cooking fires and putting water on for coffee and rice, an anxious energy hummed through our small camp on a peak in western Panama. While some of my Ngöbe companions prepared breakfast, others sized up our objective: a handful of small, white buildings clustered on a nearby hill known as Cerro Chorcha.

Young, Aboriginal, Missing

The city was teeming with wasps that year. The hum of their wings seemed to pulsate through the city, words of a different language, it seemed, that none of us could hear. The beauty of the city seemed to wane when you heard the hum of approaching wasps. They gathered around garbage cans, attracted by the scent of sweet, discarded soda or enticed by wasted meat.

Working Towards Maori Equality

New Zealand (Aotearoa is the Maori name) proudly displays evidence of its Maori culture, whether it be the dozens of replicas of Maori crafts, carvings, and paintings at the airport, the Maori flag flying alongside the Aotearoa flag, or non-Maori performing the haka, the traditional dance of the Maori peoples.  What’s harder to see is the level of discrimination that the Maori of Aotearoa conti

Once and Future Spud

According to the Maori origin story, the tribe originated on an island called Hawaiiki and traveled to New Zealand in large canoes, bringing with them stone tools and a collection of plants that included coconuts, bananas, breadfruit, and kumara—what Europeans would call sweet potato. Of these crops, only the kumara could adapt to New Zealand’s cooler climate.

Guardians at The Heart of the World

Mamo Zäreymakú was one of the spiritual leaders (Mamos) of the Arhuaco people of northern Colombia. The Arhauco and three other related peoples—the Kogi, Arzario, and Kankuamo—live in an area encircled by what they call the Black Line.

The Metamorphosis of a Graffiti Delinquent

“Art saved my life,” says Andrew Goseyun Morrison, an Apache-Haida artist now living in Seattle, Washington. As a high-school gang member whose peers had all dropped out of school by the time he was 17, Morrison was an anomaly.  Art got him into trouble and out of trouble. It was always a passion; then it gave him a career.

A Woman to Reckon With

With this issue of Cultural Survival Quarterly we pay tribute to the organization’s executive director, Ellen Lutz, who stepped down for health reasons on August 1. When she arrived at Cultural Survival in 2004, she brought with her an unbeatable combination of talents, including a master’s degree in anthropology and an impressive background as a human rights lawyer.

Forward, With Gusto

As you will read in the article A Woman to Reckon With, our executive director Ellen Lutz stepped down at the beginning of August because of very serious health issues. That article looks back at the extraordinary contributions Ellen made to the organization, but here we want to look forward to where the organization is going, building on the foundation she laid.