A New Cycle to Renew Identity

Punta Chueca
Daniel Comito Molina

Every year in the communities of Punta Chueca and Desemboque; New Year celebrations begin on the eve of June 30th and culminate on the night of July 1st. During two days of celebration these communities are filled with songs and dances. The summer sun and the clear night skies accompany the attendees of this iconic celebration of the Comcaac Nation. At the beginning of June, the families in charge of organizing the four parties that will take place in the community of Punta Chueca prepare all aspects of the celebration, such as the ocotillo structures and the wood skeletons of dried cacti. The ocotillo structures are decorated with blue, white and red ribbons, which, in addition to being official colors of the flag of the Nation Comcaac, denote that a celebration is taking place.

 

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altOf all the activities that take place on the first day, the most important and significant is the ceremony of the presentation of the flag. This ceremony is guided by the president of the council of elders and the traditional guard, while people from the community participate together with their authorities to pay respect. Emotion and joy are felt when remembering the sacrifices and tribulations that the Comcaac people had to go through. The flag represents the blood, purity, and the sea and sky when it is raised in front of its people.

This celebration is not only part of the culture, it also carries the implicit changes and adaptations that it had to undergo in order to survive. Music is an example of these changes and adaptations. Traditional music has had a drastic evolution and is something much more striking for young people today. In recent past years, a local rock group called Hamac Caziim that sings in Cmiique Iitom, the Comcaac language, is positioned as a great performance of culture and change for its own good.

What is the effect of all this? The people reaffirm their roots, their identity, and their feet that conquered the desert. They proudly see their brothers share the same desire to preserve and continue their identity through the celebration of the coming of the new cycle. From the oldest to the youngest, they embrace their identity by wearing traditional clothing accompanied by face painting.

altYear after year, this has become not only a tradition, but also a moment in the life of the community to teach the value of hope, the importance of adapting, and above all, about a time that is not only past but is a great lesson in the memory of the Comcaac people.