viernes, 23 de diciembre de 2011

My Jirajara blood

The ethnicity of Jirajara is that of Caribbean descent, named after Amerindians predominantly from the north of South America, at the time of first contact by the Europeans with these populations in the late fifteenth century. These Indians were located in the center-west of what is now the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Prosperous farmers dedicated to crops of corn, vegetables and banana plots but also fearsome warriors.
For more than a century these indigenous people were represented by their actions of resistance, tenacious and organized Venezuelan tribes. In the twentieth century, they dissappeared throughWesternization. The maternal grandmother of my mother was named Buenaventura, she was a Jirajara Indian.
Speaking of Westernization, some time ago my attention was drawn to the origin of surnames, and I found a certain sense of peace in thinking mine was European, thinking that my people came from Erurope was something of a distinction that I assumed from that supposed origin. It was unthinkable, to imagine another root different from that. Also, in those years, my autism everyday, my self-absorption associated with my human ambitions, my thoughts were encapsulated, the only relevant issue being what would happen in association with my personal well-being. One day, I do not know exactly when it happened, I began to see the trees, the foliage, mountains, sky differently. My affection for my biological mother, increased my love for my natural mother. And I realized that it was time to give back to Planet Earth all that had been given to me.
This sense of responsibility, had its genesis or was rather in my genes, genes that are not exactly those brought in by the Conquistadores, but in the indigeneous blood of those born on this continent that expressly knows this purpose. Our western educated conquerers, sold us the "belief" that the Indians and destitute, are almost the same. Beings nothing special. Developmentaly backward and enemies of progress. My mistaken pride, to have taken testimony to the vilest name subjugation and to have lived within the Caucasian paradigm. A powerful "evangelization" that has made us unaware of our essence.
The environmental and conservationist attitudes of Americans flows from their native blood. The worldview of the planet, reverence for Mother Earth is of indigenous origin, this is what has made us a distinct people, perceptive, caring, able to make a life coexisting in harmony with nature.
Even for those born on the American continent, who have descended from various waves of immigrants, they also acquire that sense of belonging and affection for these latitudes. There exists invisible threads, cultural, anthropological, sociological, that binds them, they are caught and tied to this land we walk on, that distinguish us and makes us unique.
Late, but maybe even with some time, I find one who has guided my environmental practice, my Jirajara blood.
By Lenin Cardozo and Edith Regier

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