CHIKAWA        

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Chickawa Tribe

The Chikawa tribe is an indigenous project that focuses on connecting with you indigenous roots. The tribe uses Aztec Mezo-american styles in their ceremonies and practices, teaching and showing how they thank and show their gratitude towards Mother Nature.

Education, Culture and Dance Tradition. Honoring our elders. En honor, reconocimiento y aprecio por los abuelos que nos precedieron.

Who is Chikawa

The Chikawa tribe consists of tribe members who come from Spanish/Latino descent. From their Spanish/Latino blood, the members grew interested in finding out more about their past. Xochitezca, the leader of the Chikawa tribe, stated, “It doesn't matter what origin you have. It’s a project that will make you think of where you come from and what you are gonna do with that discovery.” She then began to share with us her own experience and how she got interested in discovering her roots, “It started from when I was a little girl. I actually became aware of my indigenous roots when I was very young. I remember waiting for the weekend, when my mom and I would go to the tiangeze (the marketplace), and I went to see those ladies that sold herbs and seeds and I really wanted to talk to them.” The Chikawa tribe takes pride in their Latino/Spanish heritage. Being a tribe with a mostly Mezoamerican past, they encourage others, especially youth, to get to know and connect with their past roots. Xochitezca states, “Being indigenous is just going back to your roots, could be the roots of your family. It would be desirable that we all know about our own indigenous roots, but why not about the other indigenous roots? Once you know who is from where, you know who is from where, you will realize we are all one. But, we are all one, because we have a little bit of everything.” 

The Four Corners 

SUN

EARTH

AIR

FIRE

The four corners represent the four elements; Earth, Fire, Sun, and Air. To represent the fire, most importantly, is the incense burner, called a salmador. For Earth, they use elements from the Earth (e.g. vegetables, fruit, flowers, herbs, etc.). Air and Water are represented in the weather as the blessing ceremony plays out. These elements play a key role in the ceremony, because they are what the Earth gives us and they are what we are thanking the Earth for. Preparing for the blessing ceremony is simple. First, you need an incense burner, charcoal, sage, wood, matches, and a type of resin from Pine trees called copal. To start the work with a salmador, you have to look in all four directions and ask for permission to light the salmador. Once this action is done, you may begin lighting the salmador. Most of the time, whoever lights or is setting up the salmador will dedicate a piece of halmito (wood), to each of the four directions. One for the North, one for the South, one for the East, and one for the West. After dedicating a piece of wood to each direction, you may add the copal to the fire. Soon after the salmador is complete, the blessing ceremony can officially begin.  

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Meeting Chikawa 

Intern personal blog

The Chikawa tribe made me think about what the history on both sides of my parent’s sides is like. My mom, a Houston born Mexican, and my dad, an immigrant Honduran, are very interesting characters whose country’s pasts are practically a mystery to me. Mostly my dad’s country because he doesn't really talk about it. Chikawa has sparked my interest to ask and research the histories of my parent’s roots as well as my own. Interacting with the Chikawa tribe themselves was very fun and interesting. Dancing with them and being a part of their blessing ceremony was new and a very unique way to start my very first internship. 

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Youth should be involved in indigenous groups because I think it helps you understand their roots and where you come from and also what was done before you. 

Xochitezca, Chikawa Tribe

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