Dreams are important in Oaxacan mythology.

Do we create them ourselves?

Or do they come to us as celestial messages?

Can they exist without us?

Or do we form a symbiotic relationship.,
each dependent on the other?


Eight Deer or Tiger Claw / Ocho Venado or Garra de Tigre is a Mixtec Hero; 

his name is composed of two parts: 

(1) day name (ie the name of the day on which he was born) Eight Deer and 

(2) nickname Tiger Claw. 

His symbol in the códices is a small circle with a comma like a tiger claw.

Nuttall is the twentieth century editor of the Zouche Nuttall Codex 

in which Eight Deer’s history of conquest is recounted.

Nine Wind / Nueve Viento is another Mixtec Hero 

and the founding father of the race, according to some códices.


Once I stole the nose from a sacred statue;
today I watch it cross the square attached to a face.
Eight Deer walks past with a fanfare of conches:
you can tell him by his donut with its little tail.

A shadow moves as zopilote wings his way across the square.
I caught him once on a midnight bus;
he begged me to fold his wings and let him sleep forever.

A gringa called Nuttall sells tins of watery soap.
Her children fill my days with enchantments:
bubbles born from a magic ring.

Eight Deer, eight years old, sets out on his conquests.
Nine Wind births his people from a flint,
or was it the magic tree in Apoala?

The voices in my head slip slowly into silence.
Sometimes I think they have no need of me,
these dreams that come at midnight,
and knock at my window.


6 thoughts on “Dreams

  1. Te lo agradazco … encantadora (!). Oaxaca is such a beautiful place … it makes a different world come alive within you. I will put up more poems and illustrations related to my work on Oaxaca.


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