April 11, 2003
Roblito, Nayarit, Mexico
I set off in my kayak this morning to find shells to make art and spent the following two hours filming and fishing with a dozen men using live Shrimp on a hook. There was one spot they liked best. We'd let the current take us over it with lines in the water, then paddle up again, and drift back. I caught two and Ramon gave me one. It was one of the best cultural experiences thus far. A very peaceful, playful way to make a living.
After shaving my beard, I drove up the road to San Cayetano for another quinceañera cultural experiment. After being served a plate of beans, beef and noodles, a man directed me to sit with him and his friends; one of which I'd met three years ago with Gabe. The loud music makes conversation difficult, so I gave them my photo albums to look at. When I returned later that night, a drunk dude wanted to fight. I suck by my friends and said if he wanted to fight he'd be just creating a big problem for himself.
The bags of shells are sold for 70 pecos each to oyster farmers who hang them on strings in the ocean for new oysters to eat. I heard two new theories on why the mounds were made: as a protective wall against raising ocean water; and the second, that the locals didn't eat the contents of the shells, but were used like slaves to put then in jars, which where sent to the mountains. I found about 100 pieces of potery on the beach by the mounds that could support this.