A piece of indigenous art is travelling 9,000 km from Mexico to Glasgow ahead of Cop26.
Carved by Totonac artist Jun Tiburcio, Totem Latamat will stop at iconic locations across the UK before arriving at Glasgow’s Hidden Gardens later this month.
It will be on display at the Indigenous Elders’ Cop26 camp for the duration of the summit.
Cut from a single cedar tree and standing at 4.5m tall, the artwork is a message from the Totonac people, indigenous to Mexico, emphasising how interwoven their existence is with nature and the need for immediate action in the face of the climate crisis.
Cop26 is due to highlight the crucial role of Indigenous people and local communities in responding to the climate emergency, and giving them a voice that has often been obscured by colonisation.
Tiburcio said: “For the Totonac people, birds are our messengers. In the totem, they tell us that we must take care of all life…
“At the top of the totem are hummingbirds, representing the aspiration for a new consciousness: they are messengers of peace between humans and nature.
“The face on the reverse represents the state of emergency in the world. We are so close to reaching the peak of this crisis and the raised arms of the Totonac culture represent the balance that we must find in the mind and the heart.
“We need to act quickly to care for the world through prayers, thoughts, connections, and laws.”
The artwork was commissioned by intercultural theatre company Border Crossings’ ORIGINS Festival, a multidisciplinary celebration of Indigenous arts and culture from around the world.
Totem Latamat will be at the Hidden Garden in Glasgow between October 27 and November 14, and The Crichton, Dumfries from November 15, being ceremonially returned to the earth on November 20.
For more information, visit originsfestival.bordercrossings.org.uk
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