Ouch! Here’s a gorgeous matriarchal group, the Zapoteca Mayan. Despite the patriarchy’s best attempts for five centuries to flush them down the toilet, both women and men remain marvelously strong and vibrant. Guess who wants to take a swing at them now? Wal-Mart:
"The audience listened closely as Doña Enriqueta Contreras of the Zapoteca Mayan indigenous community in Oaxaca, Mexico, described how her pre-Colombian culture has always been devoted to the reverence of Nature and equality between men and women, despite efforts by the Spanish “invasores” (invaders) to impose a contrary value system.
Doña Enriqueta also denounced the current plan by Wal-Mart Corporation to establish a store in Juchitlán, and then made a connection of this project to patriarchy both past and present: “Despite the fact that our respect for the divinity of nature was overlaid by European Christian ideals that were male-centered and patriarchal, our regard for the sanctity of Nature, and our imperative connection to it has survived the holocaust of that first fateful meeting five centuries ago. But we will fight it now [again] with Wal-Mart,” she concluded.
Juchitán is a town in southern Mexico. Its 100,000 inhabitants belong to the ethnic group of the Isthmus Zapotecs, with about 350,000 people living in the coastal plains of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
According to Prof. Veronika Bennholdt-Thomsen of Germany, “The Juchitecan society is a matriarchal society that is well nourished and relatively wealthy, whereas normally ‘indigenous' and ‘poor' are nearly synonymous.” She claims that their wealth is due to a well functioning regional economy which is the result of the work of the woman traders. That is precisely what would be dismantled if Wal-Mart were to come into town. MORE >>>>
After reading Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (see my Dec. 13 post), I can barely stand this. I might hafta show up at church again – the Church of Stop Shopping, that is (see my Nov. 6 post). I understand that the Reverend Billy is leading his flock into the shallow-ed halls of Wal-Mart to lead their flock back to the Light (of Cut Short Your Shopping).
I’m feeling a great need these days to atone for the sins of my nation.
foto: Doña Enriqueta Contreras of the Zapoteca Mayan indigenous community in Oaxaca, Mexico