Papers that do not address the bulleted themes will lose 5 points for each unaddressed themePapers that do not cite any of the bulleted references will lose a total of ten pointsPapers that do not meet the page length requirement will lose a total of five points You are also free to bring in outside sources, but they should be supplementary to the course readings. Papers should also be numbered and in a standard citation style (Chicago or MLA).In Luis Urreaâ??s The Unwinding the author documents the death of 14 migrant Mexican men as they attempted to cross the U.S. southern border into Arizona. A confluence of social, economic, and political factors led to this catastrophe. How do migrant/immigrant folks experience migration to the U.S. southern border and the American Dream?What is the border?/What are the conditions at the border?What role has ICE played in the systematic oppression of migrant peoples?What conditions at home lead to migrant folks attempting to undertake dangerous border crossings?What role do the coyotes play in the oppression of migrants?References:The Devilâ??s HighwayCrossing Mexicoâ??s Other Border (Available on YouTube)José Manuel Santillanaâ??s lecture on migrationPlease consider citing a selection from Gloria Anzaldúaâ??s famous Borderlands in your discussion of the border. I have linked it here and will attach it to the email. It is a short, poetic and beautiful understanding of the U.S. southern border and would aid in your discussion of the border (if you do cite it you will receive 1 point of extra credit)

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Gloria Anzaldua
is a.lso the co-editor of
This Bridge Called My Back
Gloria Anzaldua
The New Mestiza
aunt lute books
All rights reserved
Copyright ©1987 by Gloria Anzaldua
First Edition
Boroc’r Region- Poetry.
2. Mexfucan-American
Me::dc:an-American Horde[ Region – Civilizatio:JIIJ.
to Frances Doughty, Juanita Ramos, Judith Waterman,
Irena Klepfisz, Randy Conner,Jan,et Aalphs, Mirtha N. Quintanales, Mandy Covey and EIana Dyk,ewomon for their support and
,encouragement, as well as f,eedback, Dn various pieces; (0 my
friends, swdents and cDHeagues in the ADP program in Vermont
Col]ege, Women’s Voices Writing Workshop, VCSC, and writers
who participated in my writing workshops in NYC,. New Haven,
San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, and Austin,. Texas, in particular: Pearl Olson, Ross, Marcy Alancraig, Maya Valv,erde,
Ariban,. Tirsa Quinones, Beth Brant, Chrystos, Elva pere.zTrevino, Victoria Rosales, Christian McEwen, Roz Calvert, Nina
Newington, and Linda Smuckler;.
To the production staff at Spinsters/ Auot Lute who bore
the pressure of impossible deadlines well: Martha Davis whose
invaluable and excellent copy-editing has made the material
more readable and cohesive; Debra DeBondt who worked long
and hard to keep the book Dn schedule; Pam Wilson and Graoe
to Kit Quan, for .feeding me and listening to me ram and
to Melani,e Kaye/Kamrowitz, .for believing in
and being
ther,e for me;
to Joan Pinkvoss, my editor and publisher,
extraordinaire, whose understanding., caring, and batanced mixture of
gentle prodding and pressure not only helped me bring this
“baby” to term, but helped to create it; these images and words
are for you.
To you who walked with me upon my path and who held out
a hand when I stumbled;
to YOll who brushed past me at crossroads never touch me
to you whom I never chanced to meet but who inhabit
borderlands similar to mine;
to you for whom the borderlands is unknown territory;
Book Company
p.D. Box 410687
San Francisco, CA 94141
Six, 1980.
“Holy Relics” first appeared in
“Cervicide” first appeared in L,ahyris, A Feminist AmJournal, Vol. 4,#11,
Winter 1983.
“En el nomhre de tOMS las madres que han perdido JUS hijoJ en laguerra” first
appeared in IKON: Creativity and Ch.ange,. Second Series,. #4, 1985,.
Cover and Text Design: Pamela Wilson Design Studio
Cover An: Pamela Wilson
Lorraine Grassano
Ambrosia Marvin
Papusa Molina
Sukey Wilder
Kathleen Wilkinson
Typesetting: Grace Harwood and Comp:[ype,. Fon Bragg, CA
Production: Cindy Cleary
Martha Davis
Debra DeBondt
Rosana Francescato
Amelia Gonzalez
‘Congress CatalogiJlilg-ill-Publica.tion Data
Printed in the U.S.A.
A02:a1dua, Glllli.a.
= La frontera I Gloria
1st eel. – San Francisco : Aunt. Lute, c1987.
Borderlands : the new mestiza
Anzaldua –
ISBN 1·819%0·12·5 !pbk,l’ : $9.’95
2031′, : po,!” : 22 em.
Englis.h .and Spanish,
Some poems tr:atnslat,ed from Sp,anisbi.
U. Title: Frontera.
women – Poetry.
PS3551.N95B6 1987
to Chela Sandoval, Rosa-Maria ViUafane-Sosolak, Osa
Hidalgo de la Riva, Lisa Carim, Sue Schwiek, Viviana Varela,
Cindy Cleary, Papusa Molina and Rusty Barcelo;
to Lisa Levin, Shelley Savren,. Lisa Albrecht, Mary Pollock,
Lea AreUano, Christine Weiland, Louise Rocha, Leon Fishman,
Claude Talley;
to my family: my mother, Amalia; my sister, Hilda; my
brothers,. Urbano (Nune) and Oscar (Carito);. my sisters-in-law,
Janie and Sara; my niece, Missy, and my nephew, Urbie; Tio Pete
y Tia Minga;.
and especially to the memory of my father,. Urbano, and my
grandmothers, Eloisa (Locha) and Ramona;
gracias .a todi.tos ustedes.
is dedicated a todos mex.icanos
on both sides of the border.
The actual physical bordedand that I’m dealing wi th in this book
is the Texas-U.S Southwest/Mexican border. The psychological
borderlands, the sexual borderlands and the spiritual borderlands
are not particular to the Southwest. In fact, the Borderlands are
physicaHy present wherever two or more cultures edge each
other, where peopIe of differem races occupy the same territory,
where under, lower, middle and upper classes touch, where the
space between two individuals shrinks with intimacy.
I am a border woman.. I grew up between I.”WO cultures, the
Mexican (with a heavy Indian influence) and the Anglo (as a
member of a colonized people in our own territory). I have been
straddling that teja,r-Mexican border, .and others, all my life. h’s
not.a comfortable territory to liv,e in,. this place of contradictions.
Hatred, anger and exploitation are the prominent features of this
However, there have be·en compensations for this mestiza,.
and certain joys. Living on borders and in margins., keeping intact
one’s shifting and multiple identity and integrity, is like trying to
swim ina new element, an “alien” element. There is an exhilaratiolJi in being a participant in the funherevolution of humankind,
in being “worked” on . 1 have the sense thatoertain “Iaculdes”,not just in me but in every border resident,. colored or noncolored-l’I;nd dormant areas of consciousness are beingactiv.ated, awakened. Strange, huh? And y,es, the “alien” element has
become familiar-never comfortable, not with society’s clamor
to uphold the old,. to rejoin the flock, to go with the herd. No, nm
comfortable but home.
This book, then, speaks of my existence. My preoccupations
with the inner life of the Self, and with the struggle of that Self
amidst adversity and violation; with the confluence of primordial
images; with the unique positionings consciousness takes at
these confluent streams; and with my almost instinctive urge to
communicate, to speak, to write about life on the borders, life in
the shadows.
Books saved my sanity,. knowledge opened the locked places
in me and taught me first how to survive and then how to soar. LA
madre naturaleza succored me, allowed me to grow roots that
anchored me to the earth . My love of images-mesquit,e flower-
ing,. the wind,., whispering its secret knowledge, the
fleeting images of the so.ul in famasy-and words, my passion for
the daily struggle to render them concrete in the world and on
paper, to
keeps me alive .
The switching of “codes” in this book from English to
Castillian Spanish to the North Mexican dialect to Tex-Mex to a
sprinkling of Nahuatl to a mixture of aU of these, reflects my
language, a new language-the language of the Borderlands.
There, at the juncture of cultures, languages cross-poHinate and
are revitalized; they die and are bom. Pr,esemly this inram
language.,. this bastard language,. Chicano Spanish, is not
approved by any society. But we Chicanos no longer feel that we
need to. beg entrance, that we need always to make the first
overture-lQ translate to Anglos, Mexicans and Latinos, apology
bhlrting out of our mouths with every step. we ask to be
met halfway. This book is our invitation to. you-from the new
La Frontera
1. The Homeland,. Azdan I El atro Mexico, page 1
El destie1’1’o I The Lost Land
El Cfflzar del mojado I IHega] Crossing
2. MovimientoJ de rebeldia y laJ cult.u’J’:M q.ue traicionan, p.age 15
The Strength of My RebeHion
Cultural Tyranny
Half and Half
Fear of Going Horne: Homophobia
Intimate Terrorism: Life in the Borderlands
The Wounding of the india-Mestiza
3. Entering Into the Serpent, page 25
Ella tiene JU tona
Coatlalopeuh, She Who Has Dominion Over Serpents
For Waging War Is My Cosmic Duty
Sueno con JerpienteJ
The Presences
4. La herencia de Coatlicue I The Coatlicue State, page 41
EnfrentamientoJ can el alma
El secreta terrible y la rajadur.a
Nopal de castilla
The Coatlicue State
The Coatlicue State Is A Prelude co Crossing
That Wh ich Abides
5. How to Tame a Wild Tongue, p.age 53
Overcoming the Tradition of SHence
Oye como ladra: e/ lenguaje de la frontera
Chicano Spanish
Linguistic Terrorism
“Vistas,” corridos, y comMas: My Native Tongue
Si Ie preguntas a mi mama, “ique eres?”
6. Tlmi,. Tlapatli: the Path of the Red and Black Ink, page 65
Invoking Art
Ni cuicani: I, the Singer
The S’hamanic State
Wfiring is a Sensuous Act
Something To Do With the Dark
7.. La concienc;a de III, mestiza: Towards aNew
Consciousness, page 77
Una lucha de ironteras / A StruggIe of Borders
A Tolerance for Ambiguity
La encrucijada I The Crossroads
Elcamino de III, mestiza I The Mestiza Way
Que nO’ se nos alvide los hombres
Somos una gente
By Your True Faces We Will Know YOIl
El dill, de III, Chicana
El retarno
N apalitos, page 112
I. Mas ante.s en los r:anchos
White-wing Season, page 1.02
Gervicide, p.age 1.04
horse, p.age 106
Immaculate, Inviolate: Como Ella, page 108
La perdida
JUS plumas â?¬II viento,. page 116
Cultures, page 12.0
sobr:e piedras can lagar:tijos, page 121
el san.avabitche, page 124
mar de repollas, page 13.0
A Sea of Cabbages, page 132
We CaU Them Greasers, p.age 134
Matr;z sin tumba a “â?¬II bartO’ de la basura ajen.a”; page 136
HI. Crossers y otras atravesados
Poets have strange eati ng habits,. pag,e 14.0
Yo no fui, lue Tete, page 142
The Cannibal’s Cancion, page 143
En mi cor:az6n se incuba, page 144
Corner of 50th St. and Fifth Av., page 145
Companera, cuando amabamos, p.age 146
Interface, page 148
IV. Cihuatlyotl, Woman Alone
Holy Rdics,. page 154
En â?¬II nombre de todas las m.adres, page 160
Letting Go, page 164
I Had To Go Down, page 167
Cagada abinna, quiero saber, page 170
that dark shi ning thing, page 171
Cihua.tlyott, Woman Alone, page 173
V. Animas
La curandera,. page 176
mujer cacto, p.age 18.0
Cuyamaca, page 182
My Black Ange.tas, page 184
Creature of Darkness, p.age 186
Antigua,. mi diosa, page 188
VI. EI Retorno
Arriba mi gente,. page 192
in the Bon:ledands means you, page 194
.de III, diosa de la noch.e, page 196
Nose raje, chican.ita, page 2.00
Don’t Give In,. Chicanita, page 2.02
Atravesando fronteras
Crossing Borders
The Homeland, .Azdan
El atro Mexico
El afro M,exico que’ aea hemos com.truido
el e.sp.acio es 10 que ha sido
territorio n,a,eional.
Es.te el esju.erzo de todos n.ue;.tror hermanos
y la#noamericanos que han sabido
-Los Tigr,es del Norte1
“The A z;.tecasdel norte … compose the largest single tribe
or nation of Anishinabeg (Indians) found in the United States
today ….. Some caU themselves Chicanos and see themsdves as
people whose true homeland is Azdan[the U.s.. SOI.lthwest].”2
at my sleeve
feet sinking into the sand
[ stand at the edge where eanh touches ocean
where the two overlap
a gentle coming together
at other times and places a violent dash.
Across the border in Mexico
stark silhouett,e of houses gutted by waves,
diffs crumbling into the sea,.
silver waves marbled with spume
gashi.nga hole under the border fence.
The Homeland, Aztian
HI ot,.,o Mexico
Mira el mar atacar
la cerca en Border Field Park
con sus buchO’nes de agua,
an East,er Sunday resurrection
of the brown blood in my veins.
OigG elllGridG del mar, el respirG del aire,
my heart surges to the beat of the sea.
In the gray ha.ze of the sun
the gu[1s’ shrill cry of hunger,
the tangy smeU of the sea seeping into me .
I walk through the hole in the fence
to the other side.
V nder my fingers I feel the gritty wire
.rusted by, 139 years
of the salty breath of the sea.
Beneath the iron sky
Mexican children kick their soccer ball across,
run aft,er it, entering the U.S.
I press my hand to the steel curtainchainlink fence crowned with roHed barbed wirerippling from the sea where Tijuana touches San Diego
unrolling over mountains
and plains
and deserts,
this “TortiHa Curtain” turning into el riG Gr,ande
Hawing down to the fladands
of the Magic Valley of South Texas
its mouth emptying into the GuH.
1,950 mile-long open wound
dividing a pueblO’, a culture,
running down the length of my body,.
staking fence rods in my flesh,
splits me splits me
me raja me raja
The Homeland, Azdan
This is my home
this thin ,edge of
HI Ofro MexicO’
But the skin of the earth is seamless.
The sea cannot be fenced,
,el mar does not stop at borders.
To show the white man what she thought of his
Y;emaya blew that wire fence down.
This land was Mexican once”
was Indian always
and is.
And will be again.
YO’ soy un puente tendido
del mundG gabacho at del mojado,
to paI’adG me estir,a pa’ ‘trlH
y 10′ pr:esente pa’ ‘delan.te .
Que fa Virgen de Guadalupe me cuide
A’y ay ay, I’oy mexicana de este lado .
The V.S.-Mexican border es una herida abierta where the
Third World grates against the first and bleeds. And be.fore a scab
forms it hemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging
to form a third country-a border cu]tur,e. Borders are set up to
define the places that are safe and unsafe, to distinguish us from
them. A border is a dividing Hne, a narrow strip alonga. steep
edge. A borderland is a vague and undetermined place created by
the emotional residue of an unnatural boundary. It is in a constant state of transition. The prohibited and forbidden are its
inhahitants. Los atravesadGs .Iive here: the squint-eyed, the perv’erse, the queer, the troublesome, tbe mongrel, the mulato, the
half-breed, the half dead; in short,. those who ,cross over, pass
over, argo through the confines of the “normal” Gringos in the
U.S. Southwest consider the inhabitants o.f the borderlands
transgressors, aliens-whether they possess documents or not,.
whether they’re Chicanos, Indians or Blacks. Do not enter, trespassers win be raped, maimed, strangled, gassed” shot.
“)egitimate” inhabitants are those in power, the whites and those
The Homeland, AzeJan I Et ot1’O MexicO’
who .â?¢dign themselves with whites. Tension grips the inhabitants
of the borderlands like a virus. Ambivalence and unrest reside
there and death is no stranger.
In the fields, la migra. My aunt saying, “NO’ ,cGrran,
don’t run. They’ll think you’re del GtrG laG.” In the confusion, Pedro ran, terrified of being caught. He couldn’t speak
English, muldn’t tell them he was fihhgeneration American. Sin papeles-he did not carry his birth certificate w
work in the fields. La migr:a wok him a way while we
watched . Se 10 Ilevaron. He tried to smile when he looked
back at us, to raise his fist. But I saw the shame pushing his
head down, I saw the terribIe weight of shame hunch his
shoulders. They deported him to Guadabjara by plane. The
fUifthest he’d ,ever been te Mexico was Reynosa., a small
berder town oppesite Hidalge, Texas, net far from
McAllen. Pedro wa.lked aU the way to the VaHey. Se 10′
llevaron sin un centavO’ al pobre . Se vino ,andandG desde
During the original peepHng of the Americas, the first
inhabitants migrated across the Bering Straits and walked south
across the mntinent. The eldest evidence .of humankind in the
U.S.-the Chicanos’ andent Indianancesters-was found in
Texas and has been dated to 35000 B.C. 3 In the Southwest United
States archeelogists have found 20,000- year-eld campsites of the
Indians who migrated through, or permanendy .occupied, the
Southwest, Aztliin-Iand of the herons, land of whiteness, the
Edenic place .of origin of the Azteca.
In WOO B.C., descendants .of the original Cechise people
migrated into what is now Mexico and Central America and
became thedir,ect ancestors of many of the Mexican people. (The
Cechise cultur,e of the Southwest is the parent culture of the
Aztecs. The Uta-Aztecan languages stemmed frem the fanguage
of the Cochise people.)4 The Aztecs (the Nahuad word for
people of AztIan) left the Southwest in 1168 A.D.
Now let us go.
Tihueque, tihueque,
VamGnOS, vamGnos.
Un piJjaro ,canto.
The Homeland, Azthln
I Ei ot1’O MlJ:xico
Con sus G,cho .tribus salieron
de la “‘cu,eva del origen . ”
los aztecas siguierGn at diGS
HuitzilopG,chtli, the God of War, guided them to the place
(that later became Mexice City) where an eagle with a writhing
serpent in its beak perched on a The eagle symbolizes the
spirit (as the sun, the father); the serpent symbolizes the seul (as
the earth, the mother). Tog,ether, they symbolize the struggle
between the spiritual! celestial! male and the underwerld! earth!
feminine. The symbolic sacrifice of the serpent to the “higher”
masculine powers indicates that the patriarchal .order had already
vanquished the feminine and matriarchal OJrd,er in preColumbian America.
At the beginning of the 16th century, the Spaniards and
Hernan Cortes invaded Mexico and, with the he.lp of tribes that
the Aztecs had subjugat,ed, conquered it. Before the Cenquest,
there were twenty-five million Indian peeple in Mexico and the
Yu:catan. Immediately after the Conquest, the Indian population
had been reduoed te under seven millien. By 1650., .only one-anda-haH-million pure-Moeded Indians remained. The mestizO’s
who were genedcaHy equi pped to surv ive small pox, measles, and
typhus (Old World diseases to which the natives had no immunity), founded a new hybrid race and inherited Central and South
America. 5 En 1521 n·acfG .una nueva raza, el mestizo, el mexicanG
(people .of mixed Indian and Spanish blood)., a race that had
never existed befere . Chicanos, Mexican-Americans, are the
offspring of those first matings.
Our Spanish, Indian, and mestizo ancestors explered and
settled parts of the U.S. Southwest as early as the sixteenth
century. For every gold-hungry conq.uist.adorand soul-hungry
missienary who came north from Mexico, ten to twenty Indians
and mestizos went along as porters or in other capadties. 6 For
the Indians, this constituted a return te the place .of origin,
Az.tlan, thus making Chicanes originally and secendarily indigenous to the Seuthwest. Indians and mes.tizos from central
Mexico intermarried with North Amerkan Indians. The continual intermarriage between Mexican and American Indians and
Spaniards formed an even greater mestizaje.
The Homeland, Aztian I Elo.tro Mexico
El destierro/The Lost Land
Entonces corre la sangre
no sabeel indio que hacer,
Ie van a quitar su tierra..
ta tiene que defender,.
â?¬II indio se cae m.uerto”
y el afuerino de
Levantat.e, Manquilef.
A ra.uco .tiene .una pen a
mas negra que su ch,amal,
ya no son los e sp,afioles
los que les hacen /lorar,
hoy .son los propios chilenos
los que les quitan su p,an.
Levan.tate, Pailahuan.
– Violeta Parra, “Arauco tien,e una pena”l
In the 1800s, Anglos migrated megally into Texas, which
was then part of Mexico, i.n greater and greater numbers and
gradually drove the .tejanos (native Texans of Mexican descent)
from their lands,. committing aU manner of atrocities against
them. Their illegal invasion forced Mexico to fight a war to keep
its Texas territory. The Batde of the Alamo, in which the Mexican forces vanquished the whites, became, .for the whit,es, the
sy mbol for the cowardly and villainous charact’er of the Mexicans.
It became (and still is) a symbol that legitimized the white
imperialist takeover . With the capture of Santa Anna later in
1836, T,exas became a republic. Tej:anos lost their land and,
overnight, became the foreigners.
Ya la det terreno
les vendi6 el traMor Santa A nn.a,
can 10 que se ha hecho muy r.ica
la naci6n americana.
c’Que acaso no se conforman
con â?¬II oro de las minas?
Ustedes elegantes
y aqulnosotros ,en ruin,as.
·-from the Mexican corrido,
“Del peligro de ta In.tervenci6n,J/:3
The Homeland, AztrJan I EI 011’0 Mexico
]n 1846, the U.S . incited Mexico to war. V.S. troops invaded
and occupied Mexico, for!t”ing her to give up almost haH of her
nation, what is now Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and
California .
With the victory of the V.S . forces over the Mexican in the
U.S.-Mex.icao War,. los norteamel’icanos pushed the Texas
border down 100 miles, from eJ rio N ueces to el ri …
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