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Third Thursday Food for Thought: “Living with the Canals: Water, Ecology, and Cultural Memory in Banámichi, Sonora”

February 20, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Sculpture in Plaza Juarez/Plaza de la Piedra Histórica (Plaza of the Historic Rock), Banámichi, Mexico, photo courtesy of Elizabeth Eklund.

On Thursday, February 20, 2020, join Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s “Third Thursday Food for Thought” dinner featuring the presentation “Living with the Canals: Water, Ecology, and Cultural Memory in Banámichi, Sonora” by anthropologist Elizabeth Eklund at Karichimaka Mexican Restaurant, 5252 S. Mission Rd., Tucson. Time: 6 to 8:30 p.m., presentation is free (Order your own dinner off of the restaurant’s menu at your expense.).

Rain falls from the sky, some never reaches the ground, some runs off down rivers, and some soaks down into the aquifer. In Banámichi, northwestern Mexico, which has a close but uneasy, centuries-old history with mining operations, water emerges from a natural spring and flows through a human-made canal system that was modernized in the 1930s and 1940s. The system is older, but how much older remains unclear. Early explorer Cabeza de Vaca reported an area with permanent houses and many stores of maize and frijoles. One particular historical narrative that emerged from archaeological research in the 1970s and 1980s is currently displayed in Banámichi’s Plaza Juarez/Plaza de la Piedra Histórica (Plaza of the Historic Rock): a fountain featuring a corn stalk and a boulder supported by four Ópata-inspired figures representing four Río Sonora pueblos founded by Father Bartolome Casteñedos. On that boulder is a petroglyph that William Doolittle interpreted in the 1980s as depicting the pre-Hispanic canals and fields in the floodplain below. That narrative is often repeated today by water managers who attribute the tradition of canal irrigation to the Ópata peoples, as attested by the petroglyph displayed in the town center.

        Reservations must be requested AND CONFIRMED before 5 p.m. on the Wednesday before the program date: info@oldpueblo.org or 520-798-1201. PLEASE WAIT TO HEAR FROM OLD PUEBLO WHETHER YOUR RESERVATION HAS BEEN CONFIRMED BEFORE ATTENDING because the Fire Code limits how many guests we can have in the restaurant meeting room. Guests may select and purchase their own dinners from the restaurant’s menu. There is no entry fee but donations will be requested to benefit Old Pueblo’s educational efforts.

Link to flyer: 20200220(v1)ThirdThursday_ElizabethEklund_LivingWithTheCanals


February 20, 2020
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Karichimaka Mexican Restaurant
5252 S. Mission Rd.
Tucson, AZ United States
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