Name change

I became aware of a conflict in the name of my blog. The name of my blog is written in the Cahita dialect of the Yoeme or Yaqui people. It means “Flower World”.
Flowers play a big role in the belief system and culture of the Yaqui.
The conflict arises because the Cahita language did not have a written form and so we do the best we can to write the words in a manner that will render their pronunciation close to the way they are supposed to be spoken.
Fine and dandy.
The problem is that the Yaqui span two countries with very different languages: Mexico and the US.
If you want to write the word “flower” to approximate its pronunciation it would be “Segua” in Mexico, where Spanish is spoken; in the US however, “Sewa” works for English speakers, which most Yaqui in the US speak.
After a while, I decided to spell the word “Segua” instead of “Sewa”. Once I made that decision, it was easy to change the header on my blog to reflect the change. The URL of my blog however, cannot be changed easily.
And that is fine after all because this way I get to honor both spellings and thus validate the Yaqui on both sides of the border.
If you are interested, the Yaqui or Yoeme, are the only indigenous group in the Americas to still retain ownership of their ancestral lands after over 500 years of contact with outsiders. Some groups exist in the Amazon who have been only recently in contact with the outside world and of course, the reservation system doesn’t count as ownership of anything.
Traditionally ferocious, the Yaqui have managed to do this in spite of an official extermination policy by the Mexican government of old and despite modern efforts by corrupt politicians and drug traffiquers.
The Yaqui are a recognized “tribe” in the US. You should know that tribes are from Africa. The Yaqui, as well as many other indigenous groups in the Americas referred to themselves as Nations. (even though the modern Pascua Yaqui call themselves a tribe)
My connection to the Yaqui comes from both my parents, although unfortunately, I was only exposed to the culture in a very small way.
Now, back to growing plants!


Tesak Pascola

This is one of my favorite stories. I’ve heard it told different ways. This version has a more contemporary feel to it but it takes nothing from the original story. I got this version from here. Visit the link so you can see the beautiful Watermelon Horse sculpture this person made.

Anyway, it think of it as an accidental gardening story.

Tesak Pascola
In old Sonora lived Tesak Pascola, a Yaqui gentleman rancher. He had an old horse who was his favorite: didn’t use him much; just let the old horse wander free on the vast pastures of the rancho. One time, Tesak Pascola decided to visit a friend on a neighboring rancho. Seeing the old favorite grazing close to the hacienda, he decided to saddle him up and ride him the little way to the neighbor’s. And so they went. Tesak spent a pleasant afternoon with his friend, and was gifted with a fine watermelon from the friend’s garden to take home, as well. When he was ready to return home, Tesak noticed that the trip had caused the old horse to acquire a saddle sore on his back. He felt real bad about this, and decided to leave his saddle and walk the horse home. First he applied a healing pack of mud to the horse’s back, then off home they went. Tesak cut into the watermelon and shared it with the old horse as they walked. Munch, munch, they ate the watermelon and tossed the seeds away. When they got home, Tesak applied more mud to the horse and then turned him loose to roam…..Tesak didn’t see the old one for quite a while, but he didn’t think much about this, as the rancho was such a huge place. Then one day he decided to go in search of the old horse. But he couldn’t find him anywhere! Worried, Tesak continued to search and search. What he did find in one field was a huge watermelon vine…and coming from inside a sound: “munch, munch”! Tesak Pascole began tearing thru the vine and at the center found…his old horse! Contentedly munching watermelons! The seeds Tesak had thrown away on that day weeks ago had taken root in the mud on the horse’s back and grown with the monsoon rains…rooting the horse to the ground eventually, but he didn’t care- he was growing himself an endless supply of delicious watermelons to eat (for you non-horse people: horses LOVE watermelon)! All good things come to an end, however- Tesak cut away the vine, and also harvested many good-sized ripe watermelons the horse hadn’t gotten to, yet. And he shared the melons with all the neighbors…..A few years later, the well-loved old horse died. Then the whole community gave a fiesta and mourned the passing of Tesak Pascola’s Wonderful Watermelon Horse.