Yoeme Ways

Yoeme (Yaqui) cultural traditions are observed at Tumacácori in this historic photo.

Tumacácori National Historical Park is inviting the community to explore Yoeme (Yaqui) cultural traditions during a special event on Sunday, Feb. 2.

The park’s Ian Yoem Weyeme (“Yoeme Ways of Today”) celebration begins at noon that day, when craft demonstrators will be on the grounds carving traditional Yaqui masks, making “maso puusim” (“ojo de venado” or buckeye) necklaces, creating gourd rattles and making paper flowers.

At 1 p.m., Marcelino Florez, a member and artist of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, will share stories of the Yoeme inside the park’s historic mission church.

“His adaptation of Hiaki stories will underscore the complex nature of an international tribe that has thrived in the Sonoran Desert since time immemorial,” the park said in a news release. “Translated into English, the stories share simple values that change meaning over time and for different audiences; as he explains, ‘hiaki stories become something you need to hear at the appropriate time in your life.’”

Following the talk, at approximately 2 p.m. visitors can observe and learn about the ceremony of the deer dance, performed by David Valenzuela.

According to the park, Yoeme people historically lived along the Yaqui River in what is today the state of Sonora, Mexico. As Jesuit missionaries expanded their missions northward through this region, some Yoeme joined the northward movement into and beyond the territory of the Tumacácori mission.

“Yoeme religious beliefs and ceremonies absorbed the new ideas, creating rich traditions that continue today,” the park said.

Admission to the park is $10 per adult, free for federal pass holders and children under age 16. For more information, call (520) 377-5060 or see nps.gov/tuma.

(News release submitted by Tumacácori National Historical Park.)

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