Chaac & Yum

Special Performance

Chaac & Yum

Thursday, June 6, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00 PM

Join us for a special performance on Thursday, June 6 as a part of Love, Aswang with catering by Word on the Street. 

Chaac & Yum is an emerging collaborative Indigenous Contemporary performance work by Snowflake Towers (Tzeltal Mayan & Yaqui) and Javier Stell-Fresquez (Tigua & Piru Native American, [email protected]), Two-Spirit femmes working to re-member being and loving before colonization. Using Indigenous contemporary movement processes (combining traditional Mayan dance and Contemporary movement) the piece brings the following ancient story into conversation with our contemporary struggles of gender fluidity and queer sexuality.

As Snowflake tells it : 
“As a Two-Spirit artist of Tzeltal Mayan and Yaqui/Yoeme heritage, I come from an ancient bloodline of healers and story keepers for my people. I will share a story of my genealogy that has great significance for the Mayan worldview of gender and sexuality from before colonization. The story is of the Mayan rain deity, Chaac, who is a great warrior, and divine king. He first married a noble woman and conceived many children with her. He entered Xibolba (Mayan Underworld), underwent its journey of trials, emerged, and went to live in the center of the cloud. Shortly after, he met a beautiful nobleman named Yum, who also had emerged from Xibolba. Yum went to live in the fields and forests as the corn deity, who watches over all vegetation. They fell in love with each other and became eternal lovers. Through their union and ongoing love for one another the Mayan people are cared for and yield bountiful harvests.“

The piece has received National Queer Arts Festival support, an Individual Artist Commission from SFAC, and is interweaving with their community events work creating spaces for Two-Spirit voices and healing throughout the bay's Indigenous communities. Video of "Chaac & Yum"'s recent presentation at Joe Goode Annex is included in their video installation.

This performance of excerpts from Chaac & Yum features a solo performance by Javier Stell-Fresquez.

Javier Stell-Fresquez is a performance provocateur originally from El Paso (Tigua & Piru Native American, [email protected]). She will co-curate a Two-Spirit performance festival with Landa Lakes at Counterpulse SF in Spring of 2020.  She also tours Mother the Verb, an experimental performance piece about motherhood, queerness, and toxicity. Follow its international tours, and details on its June 19th Oakland showing @MotherTheVerb.