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Call the Sun Life representative in your district for more information about Me Sun Life “money-back” plan, or mail this coupon today. SUN LIFE OF CANADA MARTIN ELFANT 201 Century Italldlag Masten, Texas CA 44011 Without obligation, I would like more details of the new Sun tifoSieurity Fund pion. NAMI ADDRESS AGE ?kw all premiums returned filed dividends *e4… this is now possible through modern life insurance A WASTE OF WEALTH AUSTIN Those of us whose forebears have been American for generations do not inherit a culture. We must make one for ourselves, if we ever are to have one, borrowing what we can where we can. Meanwhile, we are lost wanderers, far from home, longing sometimes with anguish for the warm communal life that our remote ancestors, we feel sure, must have enjoyed through countless generations in the villages of Europe. There, we like to think, everything was made lovingly by craftsmen, and there was dancing, feastdays, on the village green. We have among us, now, in Texas, a people who mostly are but a generation or two removed from a village life that changed very little from the seventeenth century well into our own times; who, in their homeland, were superb craftsmen, who have produced a folkmusic as expressive and as varied as any the world has known. Do we take advantage of this wealth in our midst, do we put these people to work for us as artists, to make beauti Catholics on the State Sir: Referring to the Baptistis an official position of the Catholic Church in the United States on the question of separation of Church and State: The American Catholic Hierarchy have always held, and still hold that in this country separation of the Church and State is the only practical solution. This was first stated by the first Catholic Bishop in the U.S. by … John Carroll of Baltimore. He made the statement in 1789 that he “… accepted wholeheartedly the Separation of Church and State in the United States, with its accompanying principle of equal and universal religious toleration for all men of all faiths.” …. The official position of the Catholic Church in the U.S. now is the statement of Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore in 1909: “American Catholics rejoice in our separation of Church and State, Probe Welcome, Woodward Asserts SNYDER , Hal Woodward, member of the Texas Highway Department, welcomes the federal investigation of the interstate highway program. “Our books are open. We have nothing to hide,” he said. He approved of the summary way in which Chief Engineer Dewitt Greer released San Antonio highway chief F. M. Davis after the Observre’s discovery of Davis family stock holdings in a construction. company. There was nothing else to do, Woodward believes. ful things for us, as musicians to entertain us? Do we learn from them the art of gaiety, which they have mastered so well, and which we so sadly lack? We do not. We put them to work in the cotton fields, the citrus orchards, the sweat shops; we keep them apart; we teach them to be ashamed of their language; we ignore their heritage. THE PEOPLE of Mexican origin who already constitute one fifth of the population of Texas, and who are increasing by birth twice as fast as the rest of us,.are, on the whole, newcomers, but one or two generations removed from the farming villages of northern and central Mexico. Which is to say, but recently removed from ways of life that were being woven on the shores of the Mediterranean before the day of the Roman, and on the high plateau of Mexico before the day of the Aztec. The two skeins were interwoven during the sixteenth and and I can conceive of no combination of circumstances likely to arise which would make a union desirable either to the Church or to the State.” Baptists might do well to re-examine their own conscience in regard to “separation.” Seems we still labor under the indignity of “Baptist-sponsored prohibition” in this State. They might also do much better to deal with moral and dogmatic problems within their Church rather than to use their church ad nauseum to attack another Church. They might also note that even in Texas they are a minority Church, even according to their , own figures: 1,600,000 Baptists, 1,780,623 Catholics. R. J. Meskill, Jr., 230 Dwyer Ave., San Antonio 5. \(Meskill edits the Alamo Messenger, official Catholic newspaGonzalez There on the dinner honoring Mrs. Frankie Randolph, you fail to mention that Sen. lienry Gonzalez was also present. A. A. Rodriguez, 4209 Bell, Houston. Now They Can Know Sir: Herewith is my check for $4annual dues for Texas’s greatest truthteller. How you manage to get all the truths is beyond me, but it’s enough foi . me to know you really get ’em. Of special interest is your treatment of Senator Yarborough’s statesmanlike behavior. Texas voters can now comprehend their mistakes when they turned him down three times. May you live long and happily while serving your readers with the truth at all times. W. E. Price, 405 Camden St., San Antonio 2. seventeenth centuries, each village in each separate valley of Mexico combining the strands to suit itself, so that, finally, no two places followed exactly the same pattern. The patterns changed very little, despite the intrusion of railways and the turbulence of revolutions, until the Second World War. The first great wave of immigration from Mexico had been a backwash of escape from the revolutionary violence of the decade beginning in 1910. But the later flood that began with the war, when so many Mexicans became contract laborers in the United States, and swelled into the tide of wetbacks that engulfed Texas and all the Southwest in the early 1950’s, was propelled by a convulsion of nature. The agrarian reforms attempted by the post-revolutionary regimes of Mexico had failed to give the .farm laborer enough to eat, perhaps because nothing was done to conserve the soil, depleted by ages of careless tillage and eroded by the age-old destruction of timber to make charcoal. But the programs put into practice for public health and sanitation were successful; the death rate, especially the infant mortality, plummeted; the birth rate soared. The result was overpopulation and undernourishment. People had to move somewhereto the United States or to the citiesor starve. Young men said goodbye to the village, where life for hundreds of years, except in the spasms of war and other general calamities, had been predictable, where each year was embroidered with a colorful cycle of ceremony, where everyone knew what was ex pected of him and what to expect of everyone ,else, where each inevitable step that he took between the cradle and the grave was saluted with pleasant ritual, dance, and song. I THINK of my friend Nicolas as an example of these villagers who came to Texas from the high plateau of Mexico. He came from a village near the eastern border of Jalisco, where the railroad between Mexico City and El Paso runs, and he brought with him a dance that is performed in his village, called “Los Chichimecas,” which is done in a high headdress of feathers and a skirt that rustles with some kind of pendent seedpod; a small bow and arrow is carried by the dancers, and a gourd to rattle. The dance is called after the name given to the wild tribes of Indians of northern Mexico indiscriminately; I have seen a similar dance in Saltillo, where it was called “Los Apaches.” There, too, the most interesting feature was the Spaniard, a comic character who, in the grand finale, is shot with an arrow, and his blood is drunk. The Spaniard is distinguished by a mask; he has a round, very white face and blond mustache. It is the same face that some Charles Ramsdell mocking Indian carved in stone on the facade of Oaxaca’s cathedral in the sixteenth century; the same face that perhaps the same sculptor gave to a cat carved over a doorway in Puebla. The Spaniard who is eaten at the end of the dance starts off in lordly fashion, wielding a whip on the Indian dancers. \(Is it from the Indian that the Mexican gets his sardonic humor, has talent for caricature? That he has this talent almost any schoolteacher who has had charge of young Latin-Americans will bear witness, although it seems incredible, and all this writer’s convictions oppose the credence, that such a specialized thing can be inherited. The love of drawing is strong in the Mexican young, though; there can be no doubt of Nicolas and his dance illustrates how Indian the recent immigrants from Mexico are in their point of view, and how closely attached some of them still are to the customs of their natal villages. Until a year or so ago the dance “Las Chichimecas” was a prominent part of the procession that follows the streets to Guadalupe Church in San Antonio on the Sunday nearest to December 12, the Virgin of Guadalupe’s day, but I am told it is no longer performed. The boys who performed it are no longer interested. They have emerged from the sixteenth century. Into what? IT WOULD BE pleasant to think that the transition of the Mexican youth from the ways of his fathers to the ways of twentiethcentury America had been made smooth for him. There is no evidence that this is so. He learns to despise the customs of Mexico as antiquated, ludicrousbut he is given nothing better. Not even common education is he given, much less elementary training in the arts. Certainly the figures for 1900 will show some progress: more children with Spanish surnames in Texas will average more years of schooling. But not enough progress. According to the latest available figures, for 1950, adult Latin-Americans averaged but three and a half years of schooling; Negroes, seven years; the rest of the population nine and seventh-tenths years. One Latin in a ‘hundred entered a college; the number who graduated was irrisory. No great progress can be made in the education tor even the h e recently arrived Mexican so long as the children who work in the fields are ignored. The Texas legislature has just turned its back squarel on the problem of the 200,000 migrant workers Of Texas. And it has just raised the tuition of colleges, milking it even harder for the young of the poor to enter them. In the depression of the 1930’s for the first time in historyand. it would seem. for the last official attention was given to the encouragement of artistic talent among the poor. Says Dave Williams, who directed the National Youth Administration’s program when La Villita, ancient Spanish suburb of San Antonio, now one of the city’s prize tourist attractions, was being restored: “The young people who were taught handicrafts there came from the filthiest slums, from families who spoke no English and who were half-starved, and they learned to make the most beautiful things with their hands. Some of them are successful artists today.” Where are they nowadays, the young people who could be learning to make beautiful things with their hands? In the beet fields? The cotton fields? The gangs of San Antonio’s west side? What a waste of human material! Some day we will regret it. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 8 November 20. 1959 AN INTERNATIONAL DAILY NEWSPAPER Good Reading for the Whole Family News Facts Family Features The Christian Science Monitor One Norway St., Boston 15, Mass. Send your newspaper for the time checked. Enclosed find my check or money order. 1 year $20 6 months $10 3 months $5 Name Address City Zone State PB-16
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