Monday, May 26, 2008


We just returned from a wonderful trip on the Chihuahua Pacifico Railroad through the Cooper Canyon region of Mexico. As always, I got a baseball cap with railroad’s acronym Chepe on the crest of the hat. One of the most interesting parts of the trip was observing the Tarahumara Indians. They actually call themselves the Raramuri which means the Runners and they are some of the best runners in the world. Running up and down the canyons is an important part of their culture as well as a means of transportation and communication. I loved their colorful dress. They are a very primitive group of about 70,000 Indians. Many live in caves for part of the year. Until recently, they survived as subsistence farmers but more recently have earned money by selling crafts to tourists and accepting payment for allowing their picture to be taken. There also seems to be more begging. Many seemed to have no emotional affect. I wonder if modern civilization had done more harm than good. On the other hand, they are able to survive without modern conveniences. I don’t think I could do the same. As always, I asked about their marriage and divorce practices. They have very little tribal structure but when a couple wants to get married, the prospective husband, asks the leader for permission. If the leader says yes, the couple lives together and is considered married. Divorce is easy and frequent. If a couple wants to get divorce, they just separate and the wife usually keeps most property and the children. There does not seem to be a great need for mediation! As always, you can post a comment about this blog, Divorce Mediation, or Tucson Arizona by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website or participate in our Presidential poll located below the directions. WM 5/26/08

1 comment:

The hat lady said...

My husband, son and I lived in the Copper Canyon with the Tarahumara people for five years. There are several dialects and customs that vary. In our group the girl would choose a mate and throw rocks at him (to get his attention). They would be at a tesquinada (or corn beer party). If he accepted her invitation they would go off into the woods with her blanket and be married. Twenty years ago he would be shunned if he deserted her. That probably has changed with "culturization."

I have written a book about some of our adventures, called To Climb A Mountain. It's an audio book.