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 Late summer seems to be Tucson's moment in the sun. The cadence moves from blasting heat to blessed rains to fiery sunsets...and it stops everyone in their tracks. The pause is good: It allows a renewed inter-connectivity with our history, our land and our arts.

Our city threw a big 237th birthday party on August 20, commemorating the day Spanish army claimed its territory (August 20, 1775).  The party rocked inside the recreated walls of the Presidio San Agustin del Tucson, at the corner of Washington and Church, the base of an ancient pit house excavated for public interpretation.  All facets of Pascua Yaqui, O'odham, Mexican, Spanish and American settler heritage came together. There was a reenactment of booming cannons, music, dance and blessings by a representation of Old Pueblo people who have lived together in harmony over two centuries.

Today, interconnections with our history, land, food and arts follow many paths, and touch each of us differently. This BorderLore edition reflects on the layers of cultural connectivity in these stories:       

  • Dr. Jim Griffith speaks about festival and the Presidio, so strong an influence on our regional tradition. Read more.              
  • We explore our region's heritage trees, and the efforts of the Kino Heritage Fruit Trees Project to research, locate, propagate and re-establish historically appropriate trees in Mission Gardens and Tumacácori. Our guide is Jesús M. García, ecologist and education specialist at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (and a leader of the Kino Trees Project.) Read more.  
  • The global locavore movement inspires native foods folklore and stories about the people, cultures, traditions and seeds wrapped within the movement. This attention to local food systems is palpable along the U.S.-Mexico border, and a new report about this region's bi-national food system just published by the University of Arizona's Southwest Center will be a showpiece for discussion at the first-ever Border Food Summit to be held mid-September in Rio Rico. Read more    
  • In other news we learn about quilting traditions that create social awareness from a member of the curatorial team which will produce the Quilts Making a Difference exhibit, a part of TMY's October special theme and reflection on the traditions of AIDS activism in this 25th anniversary year of the AIDS WALK nationally. Read more.            
  • Labor Day weekend heralds the annual Hatch Chile Festival, a two-day celebration of the storied, succulent vegetable pod in a small agricultural community in southwest New Mexico. Read one story about how the quest for the perfect chile recipe has become tradition and core of family life.            
  • Get the latest TMY updates and Calls for Participation, by visiting the TMY website, here. Or join us on Facebook as we kick off our annual appeal. Your donations help us keep our festival free!  

Big Jim reminds us that folklore depends on context, on its ability to rise from a community of people. So it is with BorderLore stories, which rise from our people and are influenced by the vast cultural range of our community.


© 2012, Tucson Meet Yourself. All rights reserved. BorderLore is the monthly e-news magazine of Tucson Meet Yourself, bringing thoughtful documentation about regional folklore, folklife and all manners of artful ways (in language, food, dress, music, decoration, storytelling, history) that residents of these often-conflicted border lands produce and share.  


Editor:  Dr. Maribel Alvarez 
Staff this issue: Emily Velde Elías, Jesús García, Dr. Jim Griffith, Peggy Hazard, Monica Surfaro Spigelman


Thanks for reading this newsletter. We welcome your feedback, commentary, and any suggestions or ideas. Write to us at: 


Previous issues of BorderLore Newsletter are archived here. 

August-September 2012 Stories:

Mark Your Calendar!

Tucson Meet Yourself Is Just a Month Away.


Please check out our online schedule
We are also excited to partner with Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation this year. The AIDS WALK will be leaving from the festival grounds on Sunday, October 14. You can register to walk here.  



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