Yeu-Matchuc observes World Environment Day with Vanderbilt performance

A performer from Yeu-Matchuc performs the "deer dance." (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)

Indigenous Yoreme dancers from Sinaloa, Mexico, constructed a ceremonial hut on Library Lawn and performed songs and dances in a sacred ceremony to mark World Environment Day June 5.

About 100 people enjoyed the colorful lunchtime performance by Yeu-Matchuc.  Through the ancient deer dance, the performers transform into deer to reassert their ties to the sacred earth.

Albert Bender of the Native American Indian Association of Tennessee welcomed the Yoreme on behalf of the Cherokee community.

In addition to the performance at Vanderbilt, Yeu-Matchuc will perform at Casa Azafrán, located at 2195 Nolensville Pike, at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 8.

One hour prior to that performance at Casa Azafrán, there will be an introduction to Yoreme culture and cosmology with Helena Simonett, assistant professor of Latin American Studies and associate director of the Center for Latin American Studies; and Bernardo Esquer López, the artistic leader of Yeu Matchuc. They will also discuss their bilingual  (Yoreme-Spanish) children’s book project.

The two events are co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies, Tennessee Arts Commission, Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities (Mexican Studies Group), Blair School of Music, Curb Center, Conexión Amèricas, Universídad Autónoma de Sinaloa and Instituto Sinaloense de Cultura.

For more information, contact the Center for Latin American Studies at (615) 322-2527.