This week on From The Vault, we feature a rare 1968 recording of the Peruvian-born American author Carlos Castaneda speaking about his first book The Teaching of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, which was originally published by the University of California Press as a work of anthropology and became an acclaimed best-seller. Then, exploring the work of another anthropologist of sorts, we spend some time with Mexican singer Lila Downs. Raised in California and educated in Minnesota, Downs returned to her Mixtec mother's home state of Oaxaca, Mexico to rediscover and connect with her indigenous roots, experiences that have become a central theme in her music. Lila Downs first performed on Pacifica Radio in 1998, but the recording we present today is from her performance at a KPFK - Los Angeles benefit concert in 2001, the year before her song Burn It Blue from the film Frida was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song.
From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.