Amy with SMU-in-Oaxaca

Amy spent winter break 2007-08 in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she and other SMU students explored culture, art and anthropology – visiting villages, churches and museums; participating in festivals; and working alongside the indigenous people of Oaxaca.
Amy is a junior from Austin majoring in studio art with minors in art history and women’s studies.

Read more from Amy with SMU-in-Oaxaca

Tule Tree

Excerpts from Amy’s blog:

Amy-tree.jpgOur group was taken to see the Tule Tree, widely admired for its longevity and huge dimensions: at over 2000 years old, El Arbol del Tule, which is actually an Ahuehuete Cypress, is amongst the oldest living trees in the world. With a 10 meter (33 feet) diameter trunk, it is also considered by many to be the broadest tree in the world.

The circumference of the trunk is an amazing 54 meters (178 feet). It is over 40 meters (130 feet) high, boasts a foliage diameter of over 51 meters (170 feet), and weighs over 500 tons!

The Tule tree is a unique natural monument and the area in which it lives is also of great natural value. I would describe the Tule Tree as like coming upon a haze of green, where your eye can’t decide where to pause and the sight of its mass, being in the presence of its mass, is disorienting and striking. I remember the stark contrast of the church’s crisp white walls, the sky was piercing blue and then, suddenly, a mass of green.

The branches are entangled, grown together and grown apart. There were many tourists and locals around. An interesting event occured while near the tree: a funeral procession began and entered through the garden and into the church. This was a very intense experience, as it came upon quickly. I was so absorbed in the tree and suddenly looked up to see a mass of people and a band headed in my direction.

It was somber and touching; radically different, however, from a funeral one finds in America. A live band was playing very loudly as the people entered, and the group entered as a collective following. There was a casual element to the process, but nevertheless sincere and sorrowful.

Share this story:

    About Sarah Hanan

    EA-PubAffairs(Periodicals)
    This entry was posted in Amy with SMU-in-Oaxaca and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.