Filming “Maize”

Last week we began filming the University of Illinois portion of Maize, a film by Hopi filmmaker Victor Masayesva, Jr. of Hotevilla. In the first photo, taken by my colleague John McKinn, I am filming a group of UofI graduate students from the Department of Crop Sciences planting four rows of Hopi sweet corn.

The second photo is of Professor Stephen Moose as he explains the different varieties of corn that his students planted in the plot, including Tzeltal Maya (southern Mexico), Nahua (central Mexico), Hopi, and genetically modified corn.

The corn should be up by the end of the week. We’ll continue filming throughout the summer.

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Photograph by John McKinn
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Photograph by John McKinn

5 thoughts on “Filming “Maize”

  1. I’m a nurse working and living in the heart of Hopiland, Polacca. My corn is already growing. I trust you will include some reference to Roberto Rodgriguez and the work he and his wife have done about Maize.

    1. Thanks, feminineocean! I always appreciate your comments. I’m not sure who will be included in the film. A lot of that will be left up to Masayesva and other film producers. Glad to hear that your corn is up. We usually plant in early May, but during that time in Champaign/Urbana we received too much rain to plant. Can you imagine that? Too much rain!

  2. A Pueblo Woman of the Toad Clan

    I am curious as to why you are flirting with danger in planting gmo corn? Past reports I’ve read say gmo pollen can spread and “infect” an area. Wind carries pollen.

    1. A Pueblo Woman of the Toad Clan, thanks for taking the time to post a comment. “flirting with danger”? The DNA strand of our corn goes back hundreds/thousands of years – long before the introduction of GMO corn. It has survived (just as we have survived as Native people), and it will continue to survive into the future. We are not taking GMO corn back to Hopi. The planting of this plot is in the middle of the Midwest – in the middle of GMO corn country. So let’s wait and see how our indigenous corn does alongside “Modern” GMO corn. Although we will take measures to keep down the possibility of cross-pollination, I am confident that the different varieties of indigenous corn will do well. Thanks again!

      1. A Pueblo Woman of the Toad Clan

        Whew! Thank you for your response. I am a farmer in the Rio Grande Valley and founded the San Felipe Farmers’ Market for all our people 11 years ago. I have been following and learning all there is to grasp on gmo seeds. Several years ago a friend who is a biologist/farmer tested our native white corn and found how hardy and strong it is for the desert environment. I am also a seed saver and try to keep our tribal members informed of dangers posed by gmo seeds as well as using pesticides and herbicides, such as, Round-up. I have confidence in the strength of our indigenous. If possible, I would like to know the outcome of the trials.

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