Blog #5 – Friar & Joe Joaquin <3

While I did not sleep much the first night at the mission (desert creatures and crucifixes on the mind), the 2-minute commute brought us back to the Tohono O’odham Cultural Center and Museum to get first-hand opinions of tribal members on issues such as land sacredness, the border, O’odham cultural characteristics, reservation borders and size, economic development, renewable energy, and others [to last us the 7 hours]. When asked about place-sacredness and development, one speaker’s answer surprised me a little: he said that those places of greatest sacredness/importance are not even spoken about, and some tribal members don’t even know of their location, etc. Another speaker was a member who also worked for the DPS, giving an honest perspective of the border and cartel activity. His thoughts and stats, in my opinion, proposed another reason why the US should legalize or decriminalize marijuana.¬†Despite the physical toll that 7 hours in a wooden chair took on my body, the time spent listening to different voices of the tribe was enlightening and helpful in gaining greater understanding of this tribe.

For night 2 in the mission the dinner crew had the honor of feeding Joe Joaquin the most elegant spaghetti with marinara that has ever been tasted. While the spaghetti was not actually anything special, the chance to listen to Joe talk about the salt pilgrimage was. In the wise words of Pat: “Joe Joaquin basically runs shit around here.”

Another highlight of dinner was Friar taking our group photo saying “a third picture for the whole trinity, and a fourth because we are in O’odham land!”

please enjoy this picture of Harvey and Eric talking to a baby owl at the mission.

3 Replies to “Blog #5 – Friar & Joe Joaquin <3”

  1. Abby. Despite seven hours in a wooden chair taking a great toll on your body, it didn’t seem to dampen your curiosity or sense of humor and for that I am thankful. Great post! Had me laughing.

  2. In the past sharing information about sacred places has led to their being vandalized and looted by non-tribal members.A great example of this is the petroglyph that some collector tried to literally lift from Ventana Cave. Another example is the Children’s Shrine of which very few T.O. know the location. An unintended consequence of such secrecy is that it engenders cultural/religious loss among many younger T.O.N. members.

    I’ve never heard Joe referred to in quite the way Pat does, but I think he sums up his importance to T.O. cultural knowledge and tradition well. I’m sure Joe would be please.

  3. I had no idea there was a baby owl at the mission. Another good sign in my eyes! The birds are my friends.

    I loved making that dinner for Joe at the mission — I think that having the chance to make dinner for everyone together was quite the honorable bonding experience, or so I thought. And, of course, Friar Ponchi’s comment during the photos… Gold.

    Harvey — does humor play the same or a similar role in Tohono O’odham society as it does in Lakota society?

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