Resurgence of Traditional Arts – Mike Wilken

Similar to previous discriminating movies and/or films that I have seen, Mike Wilken illuminated the revival of traditional artistry due to the dedication of Baja California’s artisans and environmental specialists. They found great value in the expertise from generations before that could be utilized nationally today. Due to the history of acquisition for the ancient tribal lands such as the Kumeyaay/Kumiai, the Cocopah/Cucapa, the Tohono O’Otham, and other native groups, much of their “profound knowledge of the natural world, including the management of plant, and animal resources are forgotten. However, there are many efforts today to revive their heritage through invitations to teach at “U.S. reservations, museums, state parks, and universities”. 

Sadly, not only have their practices been forgotten by the world, but their heritage tied to the land is also severed when the international border was established in 1948. Unable to move freely through their lands, many native people such as the Paipai, Yavapai, Hualapai, and Havasupai have also had their linguistics and cultural connection severed. Once native-born, but lost their citizenship to the land due to the border which alienated them.  Similar to having your yard taken and divided into two, you have to constantly get permission to cross the same piece of land; natives are constantly on guard to be sure they have identification with them at all times in order to avoid suspicion that will lead to deportation. If they cannot identify themselves, they are immediately suspected or labeled to be undocumented immigrants, drug smugglers, and even terrorists. 

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