Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Natural People

Without getting into a profound discussion of the difference of race, ethnicity and culture, suffice it to say that all people have a way of describing themselves and those who are different from them.  In the States we focus a lot on skin color, hair and eye color, name origins, language and regional differences.  Here in Guatemala, there are words like indigena, (the word Indian is not a respectful term in Spanish), ladino, mestizo to describe people of indigenous origin, hispanic origin, or mixed background.  Interestingly you can't really assign those labels based on skin color or facial features, but rather on cultural lifestyle for the most part.  Also the word Maya is used, but not by indigenous people unless referring to the religous ceremonies or people who worship that way. You wouldn't call an indigenous Christian a Mayan for instance.  Anyway, for a long time we wondered what word indigenous people used to refer to themselves, but were hesitant to ask.  But one day we were talking with some of our co-workers about the mayor of Chichicastenago and someone  said something to the effect of "this is the first mayor we've had who 'natural' like us."  So there you go. 
We are always learning intersting and usually accurate tidbits of knowledge and observations of the natural world from our Natural friends and thought we would share some here.

**If you cut down a tree during a full moon (or still large moon) the wood will be termite free.  (We googled this and found several articles concurring).

**If you watch the blue jays, you can predict the start of the rainy season based on when they begin to build their nests.  This year is supposed to be an early rainy season according to Gaspar's granddad and the national weather service.

**High feathery clouds in the morning in an otherwise bright blue sky usually mean a gullywasher is coming in the afternoon.--Very true!

**There is a bird that sings at night that can only be heard in March or April (before Easter) and announces the rainy season. (This is the third year we've heard it).  Grandparent wisdom says that it changes into a frog, because after the rains start, you can't hear it anymore, and the frogs start to emerge. 

**A black butterfly in your yard means someone died or is going to die.  Okay, so they have some old wive's tales too.

Saturday would have been a good day for cutting logs!


Sheri said...

Great photo, Lisa! We sat in the yard watching it with was just incredible!

Matt said...

Interesting tidbits! Funny, your post was listed 3rd when I went to google cutting down trees during a full moon. I'm a little suspicious of this circular research! ;-)

Kemmel and Lisa Dunham said...

Touche' Matt!

Marybeth said...

This 'natural' article with the accompanying folk sayings and bits of wisdom were enjoyable to read. Ah, language does give you windows into another world when you know how to open them!
Pray for you faithfully for safety as you move about...will wistfully imagine myself alongside Roger in a couple of weeks.
Greetings to my sweet sisters in Christ there!