By Shannon Dortch

Artist, composer, storyteller and poet Michael Heralda will share the world of the Mexica/Aztec people in his cultural and educational event, “Mexica/Aztec Connections to Plants and Foods”, the Audrey O’Connor Lecture at Cornell Botanic Gardens.

The talk, Friday, October 25, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. in Statler Auditorium, is free and open to the public.

Heralda will present the indigenous philosophy, language, ceremonies, traditions and foods of the Mexica/Aztec people from an indigenous perspective. He will explain how their native philosophy is interwoven and deeply integrated into daily life. Heralda will also discuss the connections between humans and plants—the Xinachtli concept, its symbolism and importance, and the seven warrior foods of the Mexica/Aztec.

Since 1995, Heralda has been sharing his lectures and interactive Aztec Stories presentations with audiences of all ages across the U.S. During his music presentations, he introduces hand-made indigenous-styled instruments, like Huehuetl and Teponaztli drums, numerous clay flutes, gourd water drums, and many other percussive instruments.

Heralda will also give musical and storytelling performances at Cornell Botanic Gardens’ family festival Chocolatada! This educational celebration of chocolate takes place on Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Nevin Welcome Center.

Chocolatada! shares the rich story of chocolate, starting from a tree—from how the plant grows, how cacao seeds are processed to become lusciously smooth chocolate. Diverse chocolates are sampled, as participants travel through the history of chocolate. They may also honor the Mexican Day of the Dead custom by grinding chocolate nibs on a traditional Mexican metate.

The cost is $5 per person, children 5 and under free. Tickets available at the door.

This event is offered with assistance from the Cornell Chocolate and Confections Technology Club.