Chip Taylor Communications

Subject: So. Studies/Sciences: Geography/Cultures

Latin American Studies Series

A series of documentaries that offers in-depth studies on the geography, history, culture and people of various Latin American countries; also informative perspectives on significant contemporary issues are addressed. Programs available on 23 individual DVDs, Digital Streaming Files or Videos; also in a 23-Disc Set. Click for more

Mexico: Tarahumara 2 - Huarache Sandal Maker

Mexico: Tarahumara 2 - Huarache Sandal Maker

Copper Canyon, Mexico, four times the size of the Grand Canyon, is home for over 50,000 Tarahumara Indians (Raramuri). They have lived in relative isolation for centuries, relying primarily on subsistence farming techniques in a terrain and climate unfavorable for crop production; consequently, they have barely eked out an existence. In 1961, accessibility to the region dramatically increased with the completion of the Copper Canyon railroad. Convenient transportation allowed the Tarahumara Indians to obtain jobs in nearby villages, as well as to share their culture and craftsmanship with new visitors to the canyon. In this program, Anthropologist-producer Susan Smith meets Ricardo Gonzalez, a Tarahumaran who makes her a pair of sandals, called "huaraches" (akaraches). Ricardo uses only tire rubber, leather strips, a knife, a small rod, and his hands to make the sandals. In the past he and his fellow Tarahumara Indians have made huaraches only for themselves and their families, and only recently are they viewing sandal making as a potential enterprise. With increasing exposure to outside influences, improved transportation, and enhanced lines of communication, it is clear that this is a culture undergoing change. Produced by Susan Smith. 02/09DE IJSCA 15 min.
Also See: Adventure 3b: Mexico

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