In the town of Yanhuitlan in the Mexican state of Oaxaca there is a mighty church erected by the Dominican order in the middle of the sixteenth century, as usual on the foundations of the pre-Hispanic culture. The culture here is of the Mixtecs. At the town's market, it is mostly old indigenous people. Few of them still speak their native language. In Oaxaca state, however, there are still more than one million speakers of indigenous languages. The artists Manuel and Marcela Reyes we visit are Mixtecas, though they don't speak the Mixtec language any more. Instead, they are cultivating and further developing the traditional art of their people, one way in which a cultural heritage can survive without retaining its own language. The little cemetry we visit has expanded into the interior of what used to be a church. Thanks to Alvin Starkman of Oaxaca for his expert guidance.
The music is by Mexican composer Manuel Maria Ponce: the Piano intermezzo is played by José Sandoval
the guitar piece, Estrellita, is played by Stefano Tracanelli.


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