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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 141,023

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What Chocolate-Drinking Jars Tell Indigenous Potters Now

July 7th, 2020, 11:49AM / BY Abigail Eisenstadt

The Chaco Canyon chocolate-drinking jars have a distinct shape, with connections to similarly shaped Mayan vessels. After testing distinguishable jar fragments from an excavated trash pile in in the canyon, archaeologists determined all of the drinking jars were used to consume cacao. (A336494, A336499, A336493, James Di Loreto, Smithsonian)

When an archaeologist found traces of cacao residue in Puebloan cylinder drinking jars a decade ago, the implications were huge. Her discovery of chocolate proved that Southwestern desert dwellers in Chaco Canyon had been trading with tropical Mesoamerican cacao-harvesters, like the Maya, as far back as 900 CE.

But the drinking vessels are as significant as the chocolate hidden inside them. They are living proof of a dynamic pottery-making tradition that continues in descendant tribes of the Chaco Canyon Puebloans today.

In the early 1900s, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History joined an archaeological expedition that collected some of the cylinder vessels from Chaco Canyon. Two of them are now on display at the museum’s “Objects of Wonder” exhibit. The jars’ acquisition is a reminder of the museum’s colonial past, but nowadays the museum’s anthropologists have a new purpose for the jars and other pottery: to connect them with indigenous people who are spearheading cultural revitalization in their communities.

For example, the museum’s Recovering Voices program works with indigenous communities like the Hopi descendants of the Chaco Puebloans to better understand pottery-making traditions. It also brings established potters to the collection so that they can study it for the next generation.


Prez Esquivel raises his voice for the Nobel Prize to Cuban doctors

Buenos Aires, July 12 (Prensa Latina) Argentinean Nobel Peace Prize winner, Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, is promoting today, together with many of his countrymen and women, the international demand to grant the Nobel Peace Prize to the Cuban medical brigade Henry Reeve. In a video circulated by the Argentine Movement of Solidarity with Cuba (MasCuba), the prominent human rights defender expressed his support for the candidacy of the Cuban doctors that are today around the world saving lives in the midst of the pandemic.

Cuban health professionals, he said, deserve the Nobel for all the humanitarian work they do in the most inhospitable and needy places. In the face of this global pandemic, they are present to serve the human being; they are the builders of peace, Perez Esquivel stressed. In Argentina, more than 500 signatures and adhesions from some 80 organizations gathered through an active Broad Commission support the demand that the Cuban medical brigade Henry Reeve be granted the Nobel Peace Prize.

At the moment, over 2,500 of them, grouped in 37 brigades, are risking their lives in Italy, Jamaica, Belize, Mexico, Venezuela, Antigua and Barbuda, Andorra, Togo, Peru, South Africa, Kuwait, among other countries, and ready to come to Argentina if the national government makes its request for help concrete, the petition points out.


(Short article, no more at link.)

NYT Acknowledges Coup in Bolivia--While Shirking Blame for Its Supporting Role

JULY 8, 2020


NYT Acknowledges Coup in Bolivia—While Shirking Blame for Its Supporting Role

The New York Times (6/7/20) declared that an Organization of American States (OAS) report alleging fraud in the 2019 Bolivian presidential elections—which was used as justification for a bloody, authoritarian coup d’etat in November 2019—was fundamentally flawed.

The Times reported the findings of a new study by independent researchers; the Times brags of contributing to it by sharing data it “obtained from Bolivian electoral authorities,” though this data has been publicly available since before the 2019 coup.

The article never uses the word “coup”—it says that President Evo Morales was “push[ed]…from power with military support”—but it does acknowledge that “seven months after Mr. Morales’s downfall, Bolivia has no elected government and no official election date”:

A staunchly right-wing caretaker government, led by Jeanine Añez…has not yet fulfilled its mandate to oversee swift new elections. The new government has persecuted the former president’s supporters, stifled dissent and worked to cement its hold on power.

“Thank God for the New York Times for letting us know,” must think at least some casual readers, who trust the paper’s regular criticism of rising authoritarianism within the US—perhaps adding, “Well, I guess it’s too late to do anything about Bolivia now.”


Nigeria: 11-year old dancer challenges ballet stereotypes

A recent video of 11-year-old Anthony Mmesoma Madu dancing in the rain went viral with the likes of Hollywood superstar Viola Davis and other celebrities sharing the video.

Anthony is one of the 12 students at the Leap of Dance Academy in Lagos.

The academy, founded in 2015, is the brainchild of Daniel Ajala Owoseni who has been been teaching ballet for free without a dance space.

- video at link -


How Cuba and Uruguay are quashing coronavirus as neighbours struggle

HEALTH 3 July 2020
By Luke Taylor

Nurse Yosian Diago checks door-to-door for people with symptoms of covid-19 in Havana, Cuba, in June
Alexandre Meneghini/Reuters/PA Images

As coronavirus cases soar in the US, Brazil and other countries in the Americas, some countries have found strategies to contain the virus and limit deaths.

More than 5 million confirmed cases of covid-19 and nearly 250,000 related deaths have been reported in the Americas as of 29 June, around half of the world total. The coronavirus is spreading exponentially in many countries, warned Carissa Etienne, the director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on 9 June.

But in a few places, the picture is very different. Cuba, an island of 11.3 million people is an unlikely exemplar of how to manage a pandemic, according to Michael Bustamante at Florida International University. Its infamously long queues for state-provided goods make social distancing and self-isolation difficult, he says, and the country’s healthcare system, “suffers from scarcities and material shortages that are characteristic of the Cuban economy as a whole”.

. . .

What the health system lacks in materials, it makes up for in workforce – it has the highest doctor-per-patient ratio in the world, 8.19 per 1000. By comparison, Brazil has 2.15, and the US 2.6.

Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2247740-how-cuba-and-uruguay-are-quashing-coronavirus-as-neighbours-struggle/#ixzz6Rb9jJpWk

During Mercosur Summit Argentina's Fernandez Ratifies his Rejection of the De Facto Regime in Bolivi

July 4, 2020

In the framework of the virtual summit of Mercosur, the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, made evident his distancing from and disagreement with the de facto government of Bolivia, chaired by Jeanine Añez, with the simple and notorious gesture of abandoning the videoconference in the just moment when Añez spoke, irrefutable proof that there is an important gap in the relations of both governments and a fracture within Mercosur.

“The TV coverage in Argentina was turned off just after Uruguay’s Luis Lacalle Pou finished speaking and the provisional president of Bolivia, Jeanine Añez, was just beginning to speak,” says the right wing Clarín website.

In the same way, the conservative outlet describes the action as “a disrespect” by President Fernández, adding that the leader “rose from the plenary session because he considered Bolivia to be a de facto government”, that is, a government that was implanted after force, violence, death and not by democratic and electoral means, as the people and the constitution mandates.



The Indigenous Peruvian Trap Music of Renata Flores

posted by Jason Kottke Jul 07, 2020

Quechua is an indigenous language family spoken by millions of people in the Andean region of South America, primarily in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. It was the main language of the Inca empire and today is the most widely spoken pre-Columbian language in the Americas. In her music, Peruvian singer/songwriter Renata Flores combines modern forms like hip hop, electronic, and trap music with native instruments and vocals sung in Quechua. Here’s the video for one of her most popular songs, Tijeras:

Flores also does covers of pop songs (Billie Eilish’s Bad Guy, Fallin’ by Alicia Keys) and
she first captured people’s online attention with a Quechua cover of Michael Jackson’s
The Way You Make Me Feel performed when she was 14 years old:

Rosa Chávez Yacila wrote an article for Vice about Flores and her music last year.
Her use of Quechua in pop music brought the language out of private spaces into the


(No one should be able to obscure the real reason: the descendants of the original invaders, slavers, genocidal power-mad racist Europeans have ALWAYS hated, and violently abused the remaining indigenous people of the Americas, from the Artic to the southernmost tip of Chile. They have ALL taken abuse, and have lived being treated as trash every day of their lives. In Bolivia, the Inca indigenous people are often referred to as "fu##ing Indians", "llama abortions" and anything else they have handy.

THAT'S why they have felt inferior, and despised all this time.

Long past time the racists got it all stacked back on them, forever. They are vicious idiots.

Renata is courageous.

Brazil shocked by woman held as a slave for years at family mansion

JULY 6, 2020 / 3:39 PM / UPDATED 15 HOURS AGO
Brazil shocked by woman held as a slave for years at family mansion
Fabio Teixeira

RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The discovery of a domestic worker kept as a slave in a mansion in a wealthy part of Sao Paulo for years has shocked Brazil, with labor prosecutors seeking a large R$1 million ($190,000) in damages as the case moved to court.

The 61-year-old woman rescued by labor authorities last month worked for the same family since 1998, and was found living in a storage shed outside the mansion. Labor authorities asked for the name of the Brazilian woman to not be shared.

Court documents said for months on end the woman was not allowed into the mansion, slept on a couch, and had to use a bucket for a toilet. She depended on a neighbor for food and other basics and did not have a vacation day in 22 years.

The couple who live in the house, Mariah Corazza Barreto Ustundag and her husband Dora Ustandag, and Sonia Regina Corazza, Mariah’s mother and owner of the property, were charged with keeping a worker in slave like conditions.

. . .

The rescue shocked Brazilians with many taking to social media where Mariah Ustundag was identified as an executive for Avon. She was fired by the beauty company on June 26, Avon said.

Avon said that they will provide assistance to the victim.

“The Avon Institute ... decided to provide support to the victim, with psychological assistance, payment of one year’s rent in a location chosen by her and the purchase of household items,” the company said in a statement to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

. . .

Last year Brazilian labor inspectors found 1,054 workers in slavery like conditions. In the past 25 years, more than 54,000 people were victims of slave labor.


This lady could use an angel.

Bodies of coronavirus victims are being dumped on the streets of Bolivia

Sian Elvin
Tuesday 7 Jul 2020 11:46 am

Bolivia is becoming overwhelmed with deaths from coronavirus as bodies are starting to pile up on its rubbish-strewn streets.

Funeral services in the city of Cochabamba, in the centre of the country, are overwhelmed as many bodies still need cremation or burial.

Cochabamba is one of the hardest cities hit in Bolivia, which is quickly becoming one of the new epicentres for the disease.

Authorities reported they collect between 14 and 23 corpses daily from homes or public spaces that are suspected of contracting Covid-19, but the causes of death are not immediately known.

. . .

The scenes of coffins or bodies lined with black plastic placed outside the houses in recent days seemed similar to those that occurred in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil, which was hit hard at the start of the pandemic.

Read more:

The Trump-supported fascist coup is doing a heck of a job, isn't it? They didn't come prepared to govern, they only came to throw out the transformative indigenous President, Evo Morales.

Teen's coronavirus-themed prom dress made of duct tape is a work of art

By Kiely Westhoff, CNN

Updated 1:12 AM ET, Sun July 5, 2020

Illinois teen Peyton Manker made this dress out of duct tape for a scholarship competition.

(CNN)In January, 18-year-old Peyton Manker embarked on her journey to make a prom dress entirely out of duct tape for a contest to win a scholarship. After weeks of working on her submission, the Covid-19 outbreak not only canceled her prom but altered the course of her senior year.

Manker was not deterred by the fact that she would not get to wear her dress to prom. Instead, she felt inspired to create a dress that "documents a part of history."

Her coronavirus-themed dress features multiple images depicting life during the pandemic. Her vision for the dress began with wanting to capture her own experience. She represents her unforgettable senior year with a vibrant scene of students attending virtual graduation.

Manker's ideas evolved as the pandemic continued to impact people all over the world.

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