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Events & Exhibitions

TOTEM LATAMAT by Jun Tiburcio

28th October – 14th November 2021

The Hidden Gardens

Experience an Indigenous Mexican response to Climate Change this Autumn.

In Chumatlán, Veracruz, México a 4.5m high totem is carved from a single tree during a ceremony to thank it for giving its life. A woman, an eagle, an angel, a sombrero and hummingbirds are sculpted into the cedar wood, the chiselled lines imprinting a message that will stretch 9000km from Mexico to Glasgow for COP26.

Commissioned by Border Crossings and carved by Indigenous Totonac artist Jun Tiburcio, TOTEM LATAMAT is a messenger sent by the Totonac people. “Latamat” means “life” in Tutunakú, and the totem is expressive of Totonac spiritual ideas as they relate to the environment. It emphasises how deeply our existence is interwoven with nature, calls attention to the damage being done to the seas, the land and the air, and insists that we cannot ignore this destruction any longer.

TOTEM LATAMAT travelled to the UK by ship and will visit a range of locations in the UK. The totem will arrive in Glasgow for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). Afterwards it will be laid to rest at The Crichton, Dumfries. 

TOTEM LATAMAT is co-presented by Border Crossings and the Centro de las Artes Indígenas with the support of The Open University and the Embassy of Mexico.

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