Asheville’s Harlan, Murphy and Mahaffey to host expert on Tarahumara Indians May 23-24


From left to right: Mickey Mahaffey, Romayne Wheeler (critically acclaimed pianist who lives with the Tarahumara), Dr. Dan Lieberman.

Love this. Press release:

On May 23-24 in Asheville, N.C. Will Harlan, Rod Murphy and Mickey Mahaffey will host Dr. Dan Lieberman at Malaprop’s Bookstore Friday at 7 p.m. and at the Fine Arts Theater on Saturday morning at 10:45. Dr. Lieberman will present his book, The Story of the Human Body, and speak about his experiences with the Tarahumara Indians. On Saturday Rod Murphy will present several scenes from his documentary, El Chivo and Dan, Will and Mickey will speak. The programs are an effort to raise money to support Barefoot Seeds.

Dr. Lieberman is a world renowned professor/author of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. He is known as the “Barefoot Professor” because he runs marathons in minimalist sandals. He is currently conducting research on the physique of the great Tarahumara runners of Copper Canyon in collaboration with Mickey Mahaffey.

Mickey Mahaffey is known in the Copper Canyon of Mexico as Gringo Diablo where he lives with the Tarahumara. He has been largely responsible for reviving interest in their ancient, indigenous ball races, called rarajipari, and along with Will Harlan is engineering pioneer efforts in sustainable agriculture with the indigenous people. He is also director of Barefoot Seeds, a scholarship program for Tarahumara student/athletes.

Will Harlan, El Chivo, editor of Blue Ridge Outdooors magazine, was the winner of the 80K Ultra Caballo Blanco in Urique Canyon in 2009 outlasting his hero, the Tarahumara legend, Arnulfo Quimare. Since then Will has returned to Urique to run the ultra and again to run and finish rarajipari on Arnulfo’s team, wearing Tarahumara sandals and clothing. He is the author of the recently released, blockbuster book, Untamed. Will is the founder of Barefoot Farms.

Rod Murphy, Asheville based film director/producer with Industrious Productions, has filmed the Tarahumara in Copper Canyon on 7 occasions. He produced Being the Diablo a story about Mickey Mahaffey and his life in Urique Canyons. He is now in the final stages of production with El Chivo a film documenting champion long distance runner Will Harlan who is also based in Asheville, NC. In Being the Diablo and in El Chivo Murphy has captured aspects of the Tarahumara culture seldom witnessed by outsiders.

More here about Rod Murphy’s movie, parts of which will be shown on Saturday at Fine Arts Theatre. From Rod:

Saturday morning at The Fine Arts Theatre, I am part of a cool event and will be showing three scenes from “El Chivo,” a movie I’m currently finishing about local legend Will Harlan and his exploits both here and in Mexico. The event will also feature “The Barefoot Professor,” Dan Lieberman.  Dan is a Harvard professor who has an affinity for the Tarahumara and is in town to read from his new book at Malaprop’s the night before. Rounding out the A-listers is Mickey Mahaffey, who is back in town just long enough to cause a stir and drop some science about the organization he and Will have created in the Copper canyons, Barefoot Seeds. The presentation will be about an hour long. I won’t be showing the entire movie.  Its in rough cut form right now but hopefully it won’t be long till there is a full tilt screening.  If you have the opportunity to come out, it would be lovely to see you.