CUANDO LOS FRAMBOYANES FLORECEN, HABRÁ MUCHA COSECHA
Curaduría Antonia Alampi
The Maya xook k’iin is a longstanding practice used to predict weather variations and phenomena like hurricanes, droughts, rains, and winds. It is a form of knowledge based on direct experience with the environment acquired by Maya Peoples over hundreds of years. The Yucatec Maya term xook k’iin comes from xook “to count or read” and k’iin “sun, time, and day.” To predict the weather for the coming year, atmospheric phenomena are interpreted every January, mostly by peasants of milpa agriculture, a traditional system of agroforestry based on polyculture cropping developed over three millennia throughout Mesoamerica. This knowledge about the relationships between natural phenomena and future weather phenomena, which is increasingly practiced by fewer and fewer people, is critical for determining rain and dry seasons and favorable burning, planting, and harvesting times. Over the course of a year, the initial interpretation is further refined by observing specific plants, insects, birds, and more, allowing for local adaptions to the seasonal predictions. This diverse web of life, as well as the Maya culture, language, and forms of knowledge that are inextricably interwoven with it, are threatened by social and ecological stressors such as those posed by industrial agriculture, deforestation, megaprojects, and the effects of climate crisis and mass species extinction. At the same time, there is a growing awareness that traditional and indigenous knowledge systems and techniques used across the planet for growing food, controlling wildfires, and guarding agricultural and ecological diversity could help contain the accelerated destruction of the natural world.
XOOK K’IIN perceiving temporalities is an exhibition in becoming that starts by convening newly commissioned contributions, entirely conceived and produced by people from different walks of life engaged in the territory of the Yucatán Peninsula, thereby activating their circulation both there and in Berlin. Contributors include Maya milpa peasants, xook k’iin practitioners, artists, poets, craftsmen, educators, academics, Indigenous independent researchers, elementary school children, and a documentary filmmaker. Their practices and knowledges inform the exhibition, each responding creatively to different bioindicators that are part of the xook k’iin, be it clouds, winds, ants, varieties of birds and their nests, the ceiba tree, or the flamboyant flower.
With Abrahán Collí Tun, Adriana Otero Puerto, Alejandro Ramírez López, Bernardo Xiu, Carolina Camacho Villa, Carlos Echeverría, Emilia Tun, Estela Ay Chan, Gerda Gruber, Humberto Ak’abal, José Clemente Echeverría, Evaristo Ix, Julián Dzul Nah, Maria Elisa Chavarrea Chim, Mario Euán Chan , Mario Tun, Matías Hoil Tzuc, Mauricio Collí Tun, Omar Said Charruf, Patricia Martín Morales, Pedro Uc Be, Rafiki Sánchez, Rodrigo Llanes Salazar, Roger & Rosa Juárez, Santos Chuc, Santos Chuc Caamal, Saúl Villa, Tania Eulalia Martínez Cruz, Vanessa Rivero, Mayur and Tushar Vayeda.
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