VIEWS: 4 PAGES: 20 POSTED ON: 2/19/2012
Ruins – Henrique Gazzana Earth What do you see there? What do you see there? The desecration of my vast grassland Stars, shouts of crystallised pain in the infinite emptiness of this blue covering, witnesses of bloody massacres of those days in which uncertainty and hate heaved out of me the finest community to be born from me. Oh stars, brother wind, I’ve removed our intruder. Ruins A moment, we ask of you, the soft bed on which we rested so long ago, the fertile earth which made and kept our brave creators strong. Comrade earth, birthplace and crypt, We, wrecked ruins, will soon be mistaken for the mud of your womb. First, however, be attentive ! I let those same strangers, who return to amble here, without that same grace, of course, of those past Guarani, know what was done to that dazzling town. May the strangers present here today, of differing intentions, from the most innocent to the most acute, share our universal sorrow of being thrust into massacre in which the colonial enemy, through greed, rage and moral envy, killed with bow and arrow the legitimate inhabitant of these fields, the creative hands of this church. Set free, serene Earth, the spirit of a town whose epic history encompasses truths that serve us today. Strangers now listen carefully with your frightened eyes, you may now, perhaps, be absolved, of blame for the crimes committed here. But now that you’ve seen us here, you should hear our winds for there lies the truth: how they were razed, your children, our parents, the peaceful Guarani. Earth The bloody wedding beats in me of two kingdoms of the European peninsula: Spain, lover of beauty and adventure, But so cruel in its wars and conquests, and Portugal, owner of a vast territory in those times, but unable to content itself with that, they conceived of a treaty, a sad attempt to trade between them Missões and Sacramento. They ordered the Guarani and the Jesuits to migrate to the south, beyond the river Uruguay. And faced with the refusal of my children to abandon my hills they performed in bloody revolt their murderous weddings. Ruins Not like that! Not like that! Oh painful Earth of my ancestors, we should be gentler with the strangers. Not like that! For in our words is roaring the tiger of vengeance against a past of sins, we should be careful, Earth, with this being for in a treacherous boat the truth may come. Earth You called them to tell them, isn’t that right? So that they feel the suffering that I still feel. You think I should be soft in the telling of my own misfortune? The image of seeing my own child destroyed does not turn the sane mad, but does make the ignorant conscientious. How else can I make myself understood? Ruins I share with you this desperate night, for we are entwined to all that was done here, and History’s judgement we have already. Us, ruins, and you, Earth, we saw a rare and strong flower sprout in the human spring. We conceived and warmed the nation of the Guarani. We feel the bitter smell of your daily remorse, In which men were brothers to sow and gather wheat. We inhale the perfume of a million loaves of bread at the time of reflections shared amongst all. Comrade Earth, those hands reunited and worked and welcoming once again, in adobe and erected buildings, to keep sheltered the fire of their lives, of their dreams and rests. We were made from you remade and recreated. On you numerous cattle scampered, in resounding uproar, for they were naturally raised. Horses were ridden on you, each body on his horse, with their piercing shouts on days of labour or festival. And within me they sang melodies in such a way, as to find new sounds in our earthly harmony. Their bodies were of earth, and happy to be so, of water their dreams singing liquid eulogies, as air as beautiful as their daily garments, and the willingness to live and have love, like a fire so powerful. We may be, comrade Earth, nothing more than a stage. For the strangers tonight have come to see us. They participate in the old drama that was left to die. Earth I’m beginning to understand your intentions. You want the serenity of Santa Tecla back, mugged by the united legions of Spain and Portugal. The slaughterous ritual of 1756. The fatal coup against the Guarani people, In the battle of Caiboaté. The victory of the thugs… The death of the Indian Sepé… Ruins That’s what I want, and I tell you that to better present the rotten past to the stranger who is here to hear us, it is better to let those men of those times speak. Call on those who rest inside you – asleep. Bring them to the surface, may they all reunite here. Earth You must understand the human heart, for you are made of it yourselves. As for me, I’m a mother and forever primitive subject matter. I know about substance, inside the universe. I know all about mountains and plains. To talk to living beings one must be an educator. Ruins Call those men! Call those men! Earth Infinite spiralled coral in the history of the ocean of Time, infinite erosion which in me converts, I call for your return at this solemn hour. Lovers of natural movement, white men of reddened skin, somnambulist voices in the night broadcast, I call you. I call you. Come also those who reunited the Guarani tribes without perverting their existence, the Jesuits of varied origin, who, sharing a native culture, enriched it with their own. From my burning breast in flames, may the teachers of tradition and envy come out. May the Portuguese and the Spanish of the time come out. Of all those I call, at least one is with us. Padre Antonio Sepp It’s windy tonight. Ruins Welcome, Father Sepp. Earth My child, Antonio Sepp, Let free your memory. The ruins suggested that the true word reaches, against those who wounded us, the quickest vengeance. Padre Antonio Sepp Nice music you have playing… I don’t like talking about blood that drowned our joy. Listen! Are you listening to that melody? Who could be violent within themselves or with others, when such sublime harmony is carried within. Yes, I talk to you and I take pleasure, in the life of the Guarani in my days. The death came later, when I had gone. That which is written by authors they did in their daily routine. But when they would come, I tried to understand them, for death is always a willing host in the cold light of an empty life. Let your eyes gaze at what are now ruins. See that there is still beauty even after the slaughter. Fill your gazes with the liberty that was here. Let us reconstruct the homes of the musical Guarani. Let me direct your eyes and enrich your vision with the dazzling São Miguel, the centre of our Missões. We’ll walk through the roads without the slightest restraint. Can you hear that music? Well over here that instrument was made. The Guarani make them all: violins, violas, violoncegos, organs, flutes, what else can I tell you…?! ah, a kind of harp that I myself invented. And now listen to the hymn of the children… If I were still alive I would say that they were still divine. But let’s leave them and move on through the town. We can walk over this floor without picking up dew. The trees cover the roads, by day they offer shade and protect us from the rain. Let’s all walk this way, for this place is not small. There’s the school, and the boys learning to read and write, while the girls learn to embroider and weave. And they’re adept at all of this, and make so much progress with their studies that they soon make us their pupils. Ah, listen again to the singers, they’re warming their voices: baritones, bassos, tenors. (chk) And the altos, and the sopranos. As good as or better than the Germanic choirs, And they’re not even Aryan. Just look at them, now they’re dancing! But let us continue… There’s the bakery, and the school of instruments. Further down is where they made pottery. There is where we made bricks. We didn’t use cement. There’s the mill, here the sculptors’ studio. Next to that is the painters’ studio. In the distance is the slaughterhouse, where the butchers work. That noise comes from the blacksmiths. But, in the midst of the noise, notice that there is always music. There it is with us always, at work, at parties, and in our precious liturgies. The musical nature of the Guarani is hardly minded to the crimes of theft or assassination. When such an abnormality should occur, we bring together an Indian counsel as will be demonstrated. The governance itself is an Indian counsel which acts, and of which we are also part. The governance is obeyed. Political ideas, with their individual variants, take various colours, and only work as a unit, there are no parties. The devil must hate this place, if I were alive I would say: there is not even bureaucracy. which renders all so skillful, and brings all such harmony, that it’s an incomparable instinct of life and company. The work itself is already an accomplishment: carried out within itself, this transforms the work into forever new poetry. São Miguel grew so much, almost as far as the eye can see, that we decided to found another reduction in the area. We left. Together with me the first-borns of nearly 800 families. After a year of struggles the city of São João Batista was ready… Cathedral The reduction of São João Batista was established in 1700. Time continued, bringing prosperity to the Guarani towns, of whom the Society of Jesus were proud pastors, fusing an artistic and political culture with the skill of the Indians who dazzled with the fruits of their union. More Indians joined forces with the communities of the seven towns. They grew. In 1706 the last of the seven towns was founded – Santo Ângelo Custódio, which joined the six others: São Nicolau, São Borja, São Lourenço, São João Batista, São Luíz Gonzaga and São Miguel, the capital. In 1720, in the splendor of the seven towns… Earth Cathedral, forgive the interruption, but there is an insistent gentleman, fidgety inside me and anxious to speak to the newcomers here. Cathedral Please present this gentleman. Earth Here is Giam Batista Primoli. The architect who made you. Cathedral Senhor Giovani… Giovani Primoli Yes, yes. More of that later. It’s important that everybody know how this - today almost completely destroyed work - originally was. It took ten years of work. And always with my guidance, a hundred willing and beautiful Indian labourers. Now ladies and gentlemen, listen a little less to me and listen more to this princess. Her wavy lines, dramatic or vertical they obey the rhythm of the musical litany. Are you looking at the walls? They look as if they were glued by some strong adhesive. But I tell you now, there is not a drop of limestone or cement between the bricks. They are made in such a way that the jut of brick is complimented by the indent in its neighbour. Ten years in this work, but it was fun watching the slow explosion of the rock of our sacrifice. In 1743, the beginning was finished. There followed two years of slow ornamentation. In the main tower, to the right, a cock of golden tin Over the bell, where many chimes were heard. While on the tower to the left, which was to be built, an astronomical observatory, gossiping stars. The clock of the big tower, which told the time fine, was hauled off, after heavy wind. And how pretty it was inside... About which Giusepe Brasanelli – the artist – can speak better than me. Hey Giusepe, come tell the newcomers the story of the sculptures. Giusepe Brasanelli No, no, my friend Giovani. What I have to say has already been said. He who wants to know, must learn to sense what my hands would say. And listen also to the melody of forms sculpted by the Indians. I’ll be silent. May your senses sing. Cathedral In 1750, the ambassadors of Portugal and Spain joined secretly in the city of Madrid. Envoy “on the 13th of January 1750, the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal carried out the following treaty: the Colony of Sacramento, situated to the south of the Colony of São Pedro of Rio Grande, will be handed to the Spanish, in exchange for the Seven Towns of Missões, located to the east of the River Uruguay. The inhabitants of these towns, Indians and missionaries, must take only modest belongings, and emigrate to the other side of the river, in a westerly direction.” Cathedral The treaty of Madrid swept aside the nation of Guarani with an icy wind. The Indians couldn’t believe that the very King of Spain, who seven years before had granted them status as faithful servants, and given them diplomas and distinction, becoming their friend, was now manhandling its territory and its lives without the slightest consideration for those who made it. The Jesuits, meanwhile, tried to avoid a war. With words, they tried in vain to mellow the revolt of the oppressed and lessen the haste of the colonialists. Jesuit Senhor Marquês de Valdelírios, the man responsible for the execution of this treaty, I must confess to you, with deep humility, my bewilderment. Marquês de Valdelírios With your blessing Father. And may God bless the King of Spain, for I am on his side. What causes you bewilderment…? The Treaty of Madrid? … Come on… I can only assume your living with Our Lord Jesus Christ hasn’t given you the time to be educated in the windy path of political art… Jesuit In these arts, Senhor Marquês, I have been left behind, for I have no comprehension of the reasons for this treaty. Our Missions have been tied to the Spanish throne, in wealth, in pride and work, the Indians have been friends and most loyal lieges, fighting as soldiers in the wars that you, the Spanish, made happen with your words. The seven towns have amazed all that visit them or study them, in France they were exulted by Voltaire and Montesquieu. It has been the most productive territory where the prettiest fruits of art and life have flourished. And why exchange them, Senhor, for the colony of Sacramento, which has been Portuguese for so long and has not the slightest splendour? Marquês de Valdelírios I see that you exaggerate in your praise for your Indians. The Jesuits confuse noise and shouts, for music and poetry. To exercise power, malevolence is needed. Don’t you know that the Portuguese have burgled the industry, bringing better results, by black marketing goods in the region of the Colony of Sacramento? Jesuit In that case, Senhor, now conscious of what they did, could the Spanish not have prevented the thieving? Marquês de Valdelírios Here you lack, dear Father, the necessary malevolence. Think a little, but first, let me make an observation: I should protect you from the danger that certain societies bring… Jesuit Sorry, Senhor Marquês, again I fail to decipher your riddle. I know not what society has threatened me. Marquês de Valdelírios The poetic society, dear brother Jesuit, of an ancient gentleman, yet young, of Semite descent. Jesuit You’re talking about Jesus Marquês de Valdelírios Evidently so. To me you seem just as naïve as he was. And I warn you, brother Jesuit, you could have the same ending as he. Jesuit What a cruel sword of words. With your permission, let us return to the topic. Marquês de Valdelírios The water valley of Prata is the end point of the three rivers and the beginning of a thousand conquests. To north and south it suits our needs. And… no more detours… If the Portuguese today make a fortune in Sacramento, by moving to a colony the safe of income also moves! Jesuit Your words make me doubt my own understanding. Do you mean to say smuggling will continue, this time by the Spanish, stealing from the Portuguese colonies? Marquês de Valdelírios Careful brother, careful, there is much danger in clarifying discreet truths in such a way. Certain behaviour is more successful, without explanation, especially in politics. Critical insight, elucidation, is a major nuisance to the execution of power. Jesuit Now I understand very well, Senhor Marquês de Valdelírios, the subtlety of your intentions. I come, however, in the name of my brotherhood, to ask you for more time, before moving out. There are more than 30 thousand Indians, part of the region for over 130 years. They will need to be persuaded that they should move. Furthermore, it’s necessary to work on the new earth, build houses, this all takes time. A year’s notice would not be enough for all this to take place. We ask for patience, and more than three years preparation. Marquês de Valdelírios I admit such a transfer would be difficult, I will increase the time limit. However, three years is a long time. You know better than I, from the sacred scripture, the Good Lord made the world in only six days… You being a comrade of Jesus, certain prayers will speed up the transfer. I will give respite, and give you six more days, in order to collaborate with the Divine Providence… Earth The Guarani wont accept the Treaty of Madrid. Cathedral Portugal and Spain will send a force to fight the rebels, boundary setters armed with an army with soldiers from the two countries. Earth In 1754 they arrived at the peaceful Santa Tecla. Under the command of the Portuguese was General Freire de Andrade. The Spanish were led by Adonaegui and José Joaquim Viana, governor of Montevideo. José Joaquim Viana These sites are pretty… I don’t like to think that we’re going to trade them for Sacramento. Gomes Freire de Andrade Good Senhor Joaquim Viana, I must consider your lack of motivation responsible for the lack of efficiency in the struggle. With cannons and artillery we have succeeded in much less than those savages armed with bows and arrows. José Joaquim Viana Oh Sir you are underestimating the power of our adversary. You forget that our soldiers fight for a larger salary, while the Guarani are defending their territory. They know the terrain better, they know how to spy, they have prepared cunning traps. Above all they are masters in guerrilla technique. Gomes Freire de Andrade They’re barbarous, in the worst sense. They burn their towns when they believe them to be lost. They fight like ferocious wounds, forever riding and their roars, shameless, almost naked… José Joaquim Viana Come on, General Gomes Freire de Andrade, we are in bloody war, soaked with blood up to the eyes, and you Sir speak of shame without dignity! Gomes Freire de Andrade Well I maintain many virtues, Senhor Joaquim Viana, As much on the battlefield, as in the bedroom… José Joaquim Viana Bravo, Freire de Andrade… That’s enough cynicism… Let us at least be honest about our malice. Gomes Freire de Andrade If you want to call it like that… Don’t forget our complicity. Cathedral The struggle continued, often favouring the Guarani, who were solidly united under the stewardship of the Indian Sepé Tiarajú, and Nicolau Nhanguiru. Sepé Tiarajú Comrades! We have halted the enemy! We must keep fighting always, united, defending our territory, and above all our independence! Is the platoon of spears ready? Indians Impatient and strong for any battle! Sepé Tiarajú In that case, advance our lines! Long live the Guarani! Indians Viva! And long live Sepé! Sepé Tiarajú There’s something much better than being lauded! Something that will come true, despite our damage in battle: Earth that circulates within our very bodies, our work is for you. Strong winds, silver rivers, natural independence, common wife, Liberty, our struggle is for you, and our honour! Indians In the name of this Earth, Out with the tyranny of colonisors! Everybody Out! Out! Out! Out! Out! Sepé Tiarajú Down with oppression! Long live liberty! Indian Comrade Sepé a Portuguese soldier is coming from over there with a white flag. Envoy I come in the name of General Gomes Freire de Andrade. He wishes to allow you a friendly chat. Sepé Tiarajú They love words, do our invaders. If they made good use of them they wouldn’t be such traitors. Envoy My General guarantees the highest security possible. And he gives you ten soldiers, as hostages until you return. Sepé Tiarajú I know, I know. This must be twentieth time you’ve come this week. This time I accept, let’s go to your General. Gomes Freire de Andrade So, this is the big chief. So young and so devoid of clothing. Now you’re not even wearing a shirt you poor barbarian. Sepé Tiarajú You called me here, mercenary general. You have invaded our land. You have assassinated our brothers. You’re an intruder, more than me, you’re a barbarian. Gomes Freire de Andrade Indigenous lingerer... But...even so... Sepé Tiarajú, I’ll let you off.. Go get back on your horse. You may kiss my noble hand. Thank my piety in the name of the King of Portugal, true owner of this land. Sepé Tiarajú This land already has an owner! God and Saint Michael gave it to the animals who inhabit it. Therefore General Journeyman, get on your knees and kiss the hooves of my horse. Earth The battles continued, and every day more blood and more guts spilled. Ruins On the 7th February 1756, a hispanic squadron led by the governor of Montevideo, José Joaquim Viana, came face to face with Sepé Tiarajú and some other Indians. José Joaquim Viana Soldiers! There is the Indian Sepé. Against him! Attack! With the leader dead, the adversary will wilt. Sepé Tiarajú Always moving forwards comrades! We fight in the name of this land, and our liberty! Out with the invaders! Ruins A Portuguese soldier reached Sepé, embedding a spear in his back. Sepé Tiarajú Arrgh... Leave me, I’ll be ok. Nicolau Nhangiru will assume command... go, off you go, leave me... Joaquim Viana Sepé! Sepé Tiarajú, are you still alive? Sepé Tiarajú Never... Always... José Joaquim Viana Ah! He’s delirious. Sepé Tiarajú Get out of here... murderous destroyers... José Joaquim Viana Sepé Tiarajú! I’m your enemy José Joaquim Viana. Before you die, Listen... Sepé Tiarajú Die... Impossible... I want to live... José Joaquim Viana Listen to me! I need to talk to you. I felt honoured having such a brave enemy as you. I must kill you now. Sepé Tiarajú Out of here, bloody cynic... assassins... I want to live... José Joaquim Viana You can’t live, Sepé. I can’t let you live. The spear inside you is Portuguese. Here comes the shot from Spain. Earth Three days more were locked in the most gruesome battle of that war. One thousand two hundred Guarani were massacred in the battle of Caiboaté. In the struggles, Nicolau Nhanguiru died, a leader as Sepé had been. Cathedral And so the destruction of the nation of the Guarani began. Earth Enough! Enough! Enough! No more words are necessary. The strangers can see you, cathedral of wind. The sight of your ruins is quite eloquent enough. Ruins The stars stay in the sky, whether they´re old or not. And so the struggle of the chief of Saint Michael and his assassinated brothers and sisters will continue. As for surviving in the human heart the infinite desire to be free, of struggle against oppression, must be heard daily in the cry of the Indian Sepé. Sepé Tiarajú You Earth, who circulates within our bodies, our work is for you. Strong winds, silver rivers, natural independence, common wife, Liberty, our struggle is for you, and the honour of us all.
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