“Brujas, nahuales y serpientes…”

Brujas, nahuales y serpientes. De la realidad a la leyenda, es un trabajo literario, gráfico y antropológico. En él La Dra. Anabell Chavira Ríos explora el mito y la leyenda con una visión antropológica a través de varias narraciones. El volumen, recién editado y publicado por la Secretaría de Desarrollo Rural y Equidad para las Comunidades (SEDEREC) y el gobierno de la Ciudad de México, cuenta con ilustraciones de Armando Fonseca, introducción de Iván Gomezcésar Hernández y epílogo de Rogelio Laguna.

Anabell Chavira nos presenta una serie de leyendas que ha recuperado de la tradición oral de los milpaltenses, las cuales ha asimilado y plasmado en textos literarios. Así, De la realidad a la leyenda, pero también de la leyenda a la realidad, es una obra que hace al lector imaginarse la vida y las tradiciones de lugares poco conocidos, a pesar de ser parte de la capital. Después de una primera lectura, ya no se pensará igual Milpa Alta.

La Ciudad de México es una ciudad de ciudades en la que coexisten culturas muy peculiares; comunidades que no han sido del todo absorbidas por el paso ingente de la modernidad, en las cuales parte de la vida aún permanece estrechamente relacionada con la tierra y las tradiciones locales. Hay territorios que se niegan a alejarse de sus raíces, por lo menos no del todo. Una de esas regiones se encuentra al sur de la ciudad, cuyo nombre hace referencia a las cumbres geográficas del valle: Milpa Alta. En su parte más alta la corona San Antonio Tecómitl, sobre la cordillera en donde se encuentran los doce pueblos que conforman la delegación.

Milpa Alta, comenta Iván Gomezcésar en su breve introducción, “es una región con recia personalidad india y campesina que forma parte del Distrito Federal”. Es, sin duda, una parte de la ciudad que posee sus propias normas de convivencia, rituales, una rica gastronomía, y una amplia gama de mitos y leyendas. En estos doce pueblos repartidos en la sierra se habla náhuatl y español, lo cual hace que sus habitantes guarden todavía el recuerdo de sus tradiciones orales de origen prehispánico, a pesar de estar mezcladas con los símbolos de raigambre cristiana.

La lectura de este libro trastoca la idea de una ciudad homogénea y alineada con un proyecto unívoco de civilización, de manera que Milpa Alta se convierte en la mente del lector en otra cosa, algo distinto de las delegaciones centrales de la ciudad; una región de rasgos marcadamente indígenas en la que las voces que se escuchan en las calles enriquecen el oído con sus preciosos vocablos en lengua náhuatl. Un espacio de aire frío y delgado donde todavía se pueden ver los bosques de pinos y oyameles; los cultivos de nopal, maguey y maíz que —afortunadamente— la urbe no pudo arrasar con su extensión de edificios, calles y viaductos.

Anabell Chavira retrata con la mirada de antropóloga la vida de la gente de la Gran Milpa Alta, por quienes demuestra mucho cariño; costumbres, conocimientos y visión del mundo, un rico bagaje mítico que han transmitido con el paso de los años. Hace también un bello retrato de la geografía escabrosa y volcánica, donde las fuerzas de la naturaleza —que siempre atraen y horrorizan en el fondo del corazón— no son simples accidentes, como el rayo que reclama a una niña cuando esta es tomada por sorpresa por una tormenta; el agua escondida en la panza de los montes y su relación directa con las cosechas de maíz, y por lo tanto con la vida.

Explora la forma en que sobreviene la vida y la muerte sobre tierras momoxcas y sus formas simbólicas. Como espíritus que acechan de noche en forma de mujeres de larga cabellera trenzada, vestidas de blanco como la luna, o brujas que hechizan a sus víctimas para robar su espíritu; nahuales que se transforman en animales que roban los animales de cría de los campesinos; serpientes primigenias que petrificadas se convierten en la imponente cordillera que corre de Teutli hasta San Pedro Actopan, adornada de volcanes impetuosos que vigilan desde su lejana altura el Valle de México.

El aire es un elemento importante en las narraciones, pues no sólo está invadido de riquísimos aromas de canela, piloncillo, pulque, atole y tamales; también la enfermedad parece esparcirse a través del viento: el “mal aire” es un espíritu que puede cobrar la vida de los niños, reclamándolos para sí misma, sin posibilidad de salvación. Igualmente los espíritus que visitan a sus familiares en los días de muertos, especialmente a los niños, por lo que —se cuenta—en esos días no se debe descuidar a los pequeños.

Los panteones, calles, barrios, cañadas y montes son el escenario de las leyendas; estas se mezclan con la geografía cual si estuviesen vivas y se confundieran con el paisaje de los doce pueblos. Como los personajes cuyos nombres despiertan la imaginación, como Yohualxochitl quien “por las tardes se le veía sentada sobre un petate en el solar de su casa, peinando lentamente la larga cabellera que caía sobre sus piernas” termina por habitar en la Milpa Alta de la imaginación. Como Juan Carnero, un nahual; o la madre Consuelo, quien sabe que los accidentados visitan a sus muertos el veintiocho de octubre en el lugar que donde fallecieron, y que las madres muertas en el parto llegan el día veintinueve.

Todas estas leyendas son la huella de un pueblo, sus anhelos y miedos. En palabras de Anabell Chavira: “la modernidad y sus estragos, la crisis y el miedo, llevan a un pueblo a sublimarse en estas historias”. Este monstruo modernidad ha llevado a los momoxcas a aferrarse a sus leyendas y este monstruo se ha convertido en una leyenda más, “un ser que le quita los senos a sus mujeres, lo que amamanta, lo que da de comer, o los genitales a sus hombres, la masculinidad, la facultad para ser productivo para la familia”.

Este trabajo, muy bien cuidado en sus textos e imágenes, hace un doble viaje: de la riqueza de realidad del pueblo momoxca a la oralidad de la leyenda, y luego de esta —a través de las narraciones de la autora— a otras realidades que de otra forma no conocerían la riqueza de la Gran Milpa Alta.

| RMM | GT | @Seliztli |

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