Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance pays homage to seed repatriation through short film – Food Tank
The Cultural Conservancy and the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance (NAFSA) recently released a short film to honor the seeds’ origin stories.
The film, Seed Mother: Coming Home, is part of organizations’ ongoing efforts to reunite seeds with the Indigenous communities they come from. Lasting just under ten minutes, it integrates music, art, animation and storytelling to convey the message of this work, also known as the repatriation movement. seeds.
NAFSA, a non-profit organization that supports indigenous communities and their ways of life, operates a network of indigenous seed keepers. The Network celebrates the idea that seeds are the foundation of food sovereignty and provides the resources and programming needed to support seed policy issues and unite those involved in this work. NAFSA Program Director Rowen White collaborated with filmmaker Mateo Hinojosa to create and produce “Seed Mother”.
Hinojosa explains that the film opens with a description of the story of Sky Woman and the creation of Turtle Island, a decision meant to reflect the reciprocity, generosity, and life-giving nature of the seeds. According to the story, a pregnant woman from the sky descends from the sky and, guided by birds, lands on the back of the Great Turtle. Aquatic animals try to pull mud from the ocean floor and spread it on the Great Turtle’s back. The seeds Sky Woman brought with her as food and medicine then sprout from her body to form Turtle Island.
The film is supported by a soundtrack that incorporates sacred seed songs sung by artists such as Rowen White as well as the rhythm of a percussive seed rattle. The visuals consist of animation, original artwork and photographs by John Jairo Valencia, as well as live films and narratives featuring indigenous seed keepers.
“Our main goal was for people to fall in love with the seeds since we stand for what we love,” Hinojosa told Food Tank.
This vision inspired many cinematic decisions, including the incorporation of video portraits of corn seeds, beans and squash. “These seed varieties are essential to the survival of the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island and the Americas,” Hinojosa told Food Tank. “It was part of our effort throughout the film: to give the seeds themselves as much space as possible to communicate directly, by showing their faces in these moving video portraits, by making their voices heard in the seed rattles,” and other ways.
In addition to sharing a message about returning seeds, the film aims to encourage donations for NAFSA’s GoFundMe campaign Seeding the Future of Indigenous Seed Rematriation, which will directly support the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network, additional programming and overhead. Operating.
According to White, “This short film… is truly a love poem and song of honor for the seeds themselves and the way they inspired us to. [have the] responsibility [to] take them home.
Image courtesy of Mateo Hinojosa