Clearing land

akxní: natzukúya’ nene’hnína’

— Longino Barragán Sampayo

When you start to clear land

When you start to clear land, you’ll go to remove all the weeds and brush. You cut down all the trees. And then it’s cleared, well … And now you will cut everything up and lay it out. You will chop off all the branches and cut off the smaller twigs and distribute them. What you’ve cut is going to be very thin (on the ground).
Now, when you’re going to plant, you aren’t going to burn. The brush will fertilize the ground. When you’re going to plant, your corn will sprout well. Now your corn will be tall. It won’t be very weedy. You cleared the land thoroughly and cut the branches up well.
Now then, your corn will grow. It won’t be very weedy. And so you cut down all the weeds, and you’ll cut the budding branches off the trunks. And this brush is fertilizing the soil. It’s all rotting right there. Man, how nice the corn is! How big the corn cobs are! Now you will harvest that … that which you planted. Now and again, when it’s getting to be time, when it’s time to plant, you’ll do it like that again. The brush will still be there. All the wood has rotted.
Well, you do it all again, you will clear again, but you’re just going to cut those … the new branches, the ones that have sprouted. The brush is still decomposing there. Heck, well, you’re going to finish it all again. You finish weeding with your machete and you plant again. Well, that way you are going to harvest your corncobs again. And the brush is helping by rotting.
Now, you will have a good harvest of corncobs, you will harvest again. Now, the next time you go to plant, You do it that way again. You will have another good harvest. Two, three times your corn will produce well. You won’t burn, because jsut by burning you won’t have a good harvest. When everything is burned up, when it starts to rain hard, everything is washed away, it’s all washed away. The mulch has been burned up, this other way the mulch has been burned. It’s all washed away, everything is washed away when it rains hard. Man, how the weeds grow! Well, by the third third planting the harvest isn’t as good. And so that’s way they do it this way. Thus, it isn’t good to burn. It’s better to clear the brush and cut it up. And plant and that’s it. The brush is useful, because it is going to rot there. Two, three times you will plant and you will have a good harvest, what you will plant. But burning, you will get only one harvest.
Know it!
You’re ruining your land because you don’t know how … how you are going to harvest. You will harvest well because, the harvst will be good because of that. One takes care of it, you take care of it. How ell you will harvest! How you will harvest if you don’t burn! Well, you will always reap what you’ve sown. Well, it decomposes there, the mulch. pure mulch it is, that, that mulch.
Well that, that is why they do it that way, the ones who know how do it that way. That’s the way they do it, they don’t burn. Well, the one who doesn’t know, burns. And all the mulch goes to waste.