An interesting incident today. An elderly gentleman, Victor, was showing us around Monte Alban, some ruins on top of a mountain near Oaxaca. There were some strange exchanges. He told us that the indigenous tribes had not used pottery initially at Monte Alban and he asked if we could guess how they made soup. We didn't know and he said, 'Everyone thinks that the Indian cannot think and the Indian has a small brain, but he can think.' I was a little taken aback. I think that perhaps Victor was used to people having a low opinion of teh indigenous peoples of Mexico and he certainly did not look as if he believed what he said. Anyway, he explained that the indigenous peoples used gourds and hot stones to make soup.
I asked what he thought about why people were so unfair to the indigenous people and he turned to me at last and said, 'The white man always thinks that he is better than other races. Don't you think? He always thinks he is better.' I found this incident very distressing and I felt a powerful guilt over the terrible legacy of white Europeans.