Magon: Five Generations of Sinaloa

Aug. 28, 2013 / By

The author’s grandmother, Maria, helped him piece together 250 years of family history in order to understand and share his immigration story. Photo: JESUS E. VALENZUELA FELIX

The author’s grandmother, Maria, helped him piece together 250 years of family history in order to understand and share his immigration story. Photo: JESUS E. VALENZUELA FELIX

The Diary of Joaquín Magón Entry 26:  Five Generations of Sinaloa

My great grandmother, Maria, never wrote anything down.

Her stories came with laughter and dance as she told me about her mother, who died at 100 years of age, and her father, a small indigenous man from the sierras of Chiricahueto, Cosalá, Sinaloa, who shrunk year after year until he reached well over 115 years of age.

Maria’s father got so old and small that she could wrap him in a blanket and hold him. He once fell asleep near a fire and fell in and came out laughing and shaking himself off. His own father, an indigenous man named Francisco Ávila, married a woman named Juana Torres that was white as white could be and had pink cheeks. How those two met and married nobody knows.

Maria’s husband, Atalo came from a tall white father named Onofre and a mother named Loisa who was a tall blond woman with braids. Maria would laugh and tell stories of how Don Onofre would paint his horse different colors because the soldiers would catch him all the time. He changed the color of his horse every chance he got and put on a fake moustache.

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