Faculty Working Paper (Zoom): Niku T’arhechu T’arhesi (Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology)

Discussant: Christian Gonzales (Dept. of History)

For a Better Sunrise: The Bonfire Revolution in Cheran 

  • Date: Feb 10, 2023
  • Time: 3:00 PM EST
  • Location: This event was on Zoom and has concluded.


Niku T’arhechu T’arhesi, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology, will present Chapter 1 from the book he is writing: For a Better Sunrise: The Bonfire Revolution in Cheran.  After enduring years of extortion, disappearances, and murder, the P’urhépecha community of Cheran in Michoacan, Mexico took up arms in 2011.  For a Better Sunrise examines the sequence of events and cultural mechanisms underlining how the Cheran P’urhépecha successfully overthrew a nefarious triad of drug cartels, clandestine loggers, and corrupt politicians.  T’arhechu T’arhesi argues that two factors made possible what he refers to as the bonfire revolution: first, a tacit cultural model derived from a cognitively salient subsystem of spatial morphemes in the P’urhepecha language; second, a concerted interpersonal effort to not just survive violence and exploitation, but ultimately thrive.