The Southwest is a land of a long history of being a food culture, from Hohokom’s farming traditions to Hopi dryland farming, to O’odhom’s saguaro fruit harvests, to various corn dishes. Yet today, many of the region’s inhabitants are unaware of this history. Indigenous communities, as well as today’s new migrants, established and continue to bring their food heritage. Our workshop is an invitation to share this food together, to reconnect to our senses, to reconnect to this land and the people in it.
The workshop will occur 3-4 times throughout the day, and participants will be invited to engage with local and indigenous food makers and storytellers from around Arizona. We will be seated at a table and will first prepare parts of a meal together; this might include removing fruits from the stem, chopping, mashing, etc., as we talk about the food, its origins and health benefits, and explore how people relate to it. The task-oriented nature of the interaction creates a sense of connection between the participants, the food, and one another. The food preparation will follow a concentric circle structure, in which each station of preparation moves the participants further outward, allowing them to see the remnants of the work they have done. The workshop will end with an optional tasting session of the food, some of which will be partially pre-prepared. Each group will be considered a “generation” who is preparing food both for themselves and for subsequent generations, connecting the cohorts of participants together across time.