Thursday, March 14, 2013

Barrancas del Cobre - Day 4: Tamahumara

We met our tour guide, Jose, at 10:00 on Saturday morning. Gail and Murray would come with us for the first part of the day, and then Jose would take us back to the tram that Art had missed the day before. I was looking forward to getting some pictures of the canyon while the sun was shining, too.

Our first stop was a Tarahumara settlement in a valley. The Tarahumara are indians that fled into the Sierra Madre to avoid the Spanish. They are know for running crazy long distances, barefoot. Many of them still live in their traditional cave dwellings, although there's been quite a bit of effort expended to get them proper houses, with heat. Apparently the winter of 2011-12 was extremely cold, and several people froze to death in the caves. The women weave beautiful baskets out of pine needles and grasses. We came home with several baskets.

There were quite a few more conventional houses scattered around as well.

The Tarahumara are subsistence farmers - they grow mostly corn and beans. The season at these altitudes must be incredibly short - we saw nothing growing while we were there. We did see an irrigation canal - the water is diverted to various places by moving the piles of rocks around.

There is a church here, but the tarahumara have sort of adapted Catholicism to their traditional beliefs. The white stones in the facade of the mission represent the sun, moon and stars.

After the town, Jose took us to a very pretty lake. Again, we were strongly reminded of the Sierra Nevada.

We dropped Murray and Gail off at the museum in town, and headed back to Divisadero and the tram.

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