The world’s first Indigenous poetry festival launches in Mexico Monday, bringing together 80 poets from five continents and 30 languages to celebrate Indigenous knowledge and love for the Mother Earth.
The inaugural theme, "Voices of Color for Mother Earth," aims to share different Indigenous cosmologies on the natural world to "keep alive their traditions, their language, but above all their creativity and vision of the world that will surely be increasingly present in the enormous changes the world is experiencing,” said National Council for Culture and the Arts President Rafael Tovar.
The cultural and academic gathering will include conferences, dialogues, workshops and poetry readings with a stated mission “to recognize that all of us, humans, without distinction of origin, are fruits of the earth, that we depend on its permanence, fate, transcendence and how we relate to it.”
The week-long festival will also feature participants from six Mexican states, each with a rich Indigenous tradition—from the poet-king Nezahualcoyotl to the Nahuatl festival organizer Natalio Hernandez.
Indigenous languages “are languages that are subsumed in every country, but that vibrate and join together in song, leading us to the same purpose, which is to approach Mother Earth through voice and song," said Hernandez. Languages produce “a permanent spiritual reservoir, which waters with its accumulation of traditions, of experience and, above all, of a conception of life much more connected to nature.”