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BorderLore, July/August 2016 
Savor the Spice     
Flavors of all kinds inspire the senses and allow us to live our folklife fully

Culture... We touch it, see it, taste it, feel it. Just as the home cook calls on a diverse pantry to prepare the perfect meal, we call upon the nuances of culture to add that intangible sense of belonging -- alternatively spicy, sweet, pungent or soothing -- that binds meaning to who we are and the spaces we inhabit.

Our communities are full of cultural essentials, stocked with layers of meaning and stacked higher than one can reach. Metaphorically and symbolically, these life ingredients illustrate complex identity and pulsate within our arts, stories and cultural roots. If we didn't safeguard these ingredients in our lifeways, or engage in celebratory cultural melting pots like Tucson Meet Yourself, we couldn't delight in life's harvest, full of the variety that gives everything meaningful depth.

In this edition, BorderLore digs into flavor-filled stories, from a sensory as well as cultural perspective:
Sight -- The Spice of Community Place: Oral historian, folklorist and native New Mexican Nasario García discusses how his Hispanic folklore and his Northern New Mexico storytelling is all about the flavor of everyday rural life and its rituals, here.

Taste -- Raspados Delights: The Robles family of Sonoran Sno-Cone recounts the sweet, tart and spicy culinary tradition of raspados, which also is a traditional art form and part of Tucson's summer street culture. A glimpse of the family history involving this confection is here.

Aroma -- Chimayó Chile Project: In Chimayó, New Mexico, there is a way of life where all revolves around the chile, its use by elders and the movement to protect it by trademark. Some of Chimayó traditions have endured for generations, and the chile is one of them. Marie Campos of the Chimayó Chile Project helps us understand the community's unique chile fields and the families who tend them, here.
Color -- Pure Pigments: Originate celebrates its 13th anniversary this year, as a community resource and as one centerpiece of the local folklife revolving around sustainability. An interview with founder Natasha Winnik reveals how a sustainably built environment adds unique flavor to community life, here.

  • Tucson Meet Yourself: Our annual celebration of cultural nourishment, fun and belonging is almost upon us. The 43rd annual TMY will be held October 7, 8 and 9. Volunteer and be part of our community: Sign up here.
    Learn more about TMY food & other festival highlights.

  • This month's News & Resource Roundup is here.
End Notes... 
From the earliest of times, spice has imparted tradition, taste and a sense of community: In the Indian pantry, for example, a "masala dabba" is the round and alluring traditional container that organizes a cook's vibrant spices. The masala dabba is often passed down from mother to daughter, a wedding gift to ensure the new home is well stocked and able to prepare traditional family meals.
Where is the masala dabba that preserves the flavors of your life? Try nibbling on a tiny piece of cultural spice from your masala dabba today. Shed preconceptions, meet the spice on its own terms, and appreciate its flavors. As BorderLore shares with you our discoveries, we encourage you to blend your own spices and pass these along to others.
"Human beings feed on metaphors as ways of talking about something else:
we hunger for, cannibalize, spice it up, sugar coat, hash things out, sink our teeth into,
 and find something difficult to swallow or hard to digest
so we cough it up and then have a bone to pick with someone, which is their just desserts." 
"Flavours could be perceptions involving multiple near and far senses, as well
as input from memories."
"The spices of true power are from my birthland, land of ardent poetry, aquamarine feathers.
Sunset skies brilliant as blood."
© 2016, Southwest Folklife Alliance. All rights reserved. BorderLore is the e-news magazine of Southwest Folklife Alliance. The study and documentation of folklife involves the accurate representation of people's viewpoints in their own terms; quotes and opinions expressed in interviews with individual tradition bearers do not necessarily reflect the sentiments and opinions of BorderLore editors, the Southwest Folklife Alliance or any specific person or entity at the University of Arizona. 
Managing Editor:   Monica Surfaro-Spigelman
Contributing Writer: Kimi Eisele 

Thank you for reading this newsletter. We welcome your feedback, commentary and any suggestions or ideas. Write to us at:  swfolklife@gmail.com

Previous issues of BorderLore Newsletter are archived  here and here.