Maria Liceria Valencia

Areas of Achievement: 
Higher Education
Culture and Tradition

Honored By

Honored by: Native American Women of Arizona Arch, UA
Date submitted: April 12, 2012
Gift: General Gift

Honored on the Native American Women's Arch by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe as a Cocinera.

Maria Liceria Valencia, Maala Yo'owe, Cocinera

These words that are written will only begin to share the beautiful history of a ceremonial Elder, cherished by many, who is now representing the great tribe of the Pascua Yaqui.

Maria Liceria Campoy was born on December 21, 1939, to Jose Angel and Francisca Campoy in Eloy, Arizona. She was raised in South Tucson in the Yaqui community of Barrio Libre. On August 13, 1956, she married Juan Luis Valencia. She has eight children, three sons and five daughters.

All of her children were raised in Marana, Arizona, close to the Yoem Pueblo, a Yaqui community in Marana.

As a nutritionist working for the University of Arizona Extension Service, she taught her people how to cook with government commodities. Most of her employment has been cooking and caring for people.

Mrs. Liceria Valencia has always dedicated her life to the Yaqui ceremonial way and serves as a Kiyosti Mayor; an Elder who cares for the ceremonial sacred items that belong to a Yaqui church and teaches the ceremonial duties of the church.

In time, she began her work as a Cocinera, a woman dedicated to cooking in the large cultural kitchens of all the Yaqui communities, during large feast days, baptismal ceremonials and during Waehma, our Lenten ceremonial. She prepares meals for the many ceremonial society members, like many of our Yaqui women do in all of our Yaqui communities.

Her will and strength comes from great faith in her, 'Lord'. She always believes that if you help others and be good to all, her 'Lord', will help her in her time of need. He has never failed her.

Her humility, modesty and tenderness are greatly known amongst her people, who continually go to her for advice in the many ways of our Yaqui people.