WHEN MAYA COMMUNITY educator Wilma Esquivel Pat opened a current discussion board on the autonomy of Indigenous peoples, her remarks recalled her individuals’s wrestle for self-determination within the Caste Warfare of Yucatán—175 years in the past.
European descendants had constructed profitable sugar cane and henequen plantations on the peninsula that relied on Maya peasant farmers’ bonded labor. Whereas the abolition motion was washing throughout the Americas, landholders on the Yucatán Peninsula started promoting Maya prisoners of warfare and debtors into slavery in Cuba. In 1847, the Maya revolted and established an autonomous authorities within the jap a part of the peninsula that lasted via the flip of the century.
The period Esquivel Pat dropped at thoughts stays current, in generational time, for a lot of Maya in attendance on the discussion board. Elders who held them as youngsters could have themselves been cradled within the arms of elders who participated in that historic wrestle. In them, their ancestors’ legacy reaches into the current. It’s a birthright they recall with ache and satisfaction—the generations who resisted, in addition to the white settlers and higher echelons of the colonial caste system who privatized land, exploited labor, and extracted returns on the expense of many of the area’s individuals.
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