Ronald Hilton - 08/12/98
The Tarahumaras are perhaps the most primitive tribe in Mexico. They live
in the Tarahumara Mountains, west of Chihuahua. They get little attention.
They are not even mentioned in the Mexico volume of the Area Handbook
Series. So I called Jeanne Porter, a friend who once lived in Torreon, a
good way to the east. She said they came there to trade. Although poor and
dirty (because of lack of water), she admired their dignity. Agile
runners, they hunt deer and perform the deer dance.
Suddenly they have burst into Mexican TV, the first time I have seen them
there. Many tons of food have been collected for them and shipped free to
Chihuahua. A goodly number of doctors are donating their time to cure
their ailments. Once again, we pay tribute to the humanitarian spirit of
the medical profession.
The question remains: why this sudden, much publicized interest in the
Tarahumaras? The Indians throughout Mexico, especially in Chiapas, accuse
Mexico City of indifference. This aid to the most primitive tribe in
Mexico is an attempt to prove that even the poorest Indians are the object
of national concern.