We are pleased to share Voices of Maíze, a powerful collection of stories from indigenous maize keepers and communities across North and South America. This collaborative project aims to restore and re-engage the sacred in corn, and to show the fundamental role of Indigenous cultures in the creation and conservation of maize.
Voices of Maíze comes in response to the threats corn cultures are facing through the globally imbalanced relationship to maize. This imbalanced relationship has caused a deterioration of the genetic base of maize and in the extraordinarily rich and important ways in which local stewards have maintained agrobiodiversity as part of their cultural fabric.
“We are people of maize, children of maize, and we live from maize. Maize is the source of life and the fundamental basis of our communities. It is our medicine and food. Our seeds belong to our ancestors. Our seeds are more resistant, resilient, healthy, and energetic.” - Carmen Lozano, Pueblo Saraguro, Ecuador
Along with maize exists another vision of the world, a system of thought, a culture, and a cosmovision. Maize, for many communities across the Americas is the center of creation, and her cycle of life has made possible the lives of humanity as well as a way of life based on community, coexistence, harmony, reciprocity and respect. From the South to the North, we hear again and again that maize is not just a food, but a deep part of identity, and that there is an inseparable connection between seeds, knowledge, water, forests, and landscapes. These Voices of Maíze show the inseparable connection between these ways of conceiving of, and comporting ourselves with the world, everyday ways of being, and the fluid relation between seeds, land, knowledge, cultural, and biological diversity.