MACHETE, PANDO, CORBO, CUMA, GUARIZAMA
“Machete, Pando, Corbo, Cuma, Guarizama” is an exploration of the nesses within my identity. My person resides within a space that is composed of Salvadoran-ness, Honduran-ness, and Estadounidense-ness, none being fully immersed and none being completely left out. The addition of these nesses inform my identity, however, the differences that exist between them make it difficult to exist within them.
“Machete, Pando, Corbo, Cuma, Guarizama” is a ritual that calls the machete by its various names to invoke its spirit in order for it to answer the questions I ask, respond to the statements I make, and perform as it has been designed to perform. My dialogue in our conversation questions and validates the perception of the Salvadoran icon by recalling the personal, political, familial, and agricultural histories living within it. While speaking to the machete, I smear charcoal on its blade and scrape it on a board to record its responses during our conversation and form a trace. Ending our conversation, the machete is hung pointing down like an arrow to where it spoke and was spoken to. The sound of the scraping of its blade reappears after our encounter, thus echoing the machete’s responses. The trace lives as a testimony of my conversation with the machete, pando, corbo, cuma, guarizama, and the histories involved with its existence.