The Bird Who Cleans the World: And Other Mayan Fables

The Bird Who Cleans the World: And Other Mayan Fables

The Bird Who Cleans the World: And Other Mayan Fables

The Bird Who Cleans the World: And Other Mayan Fables

Excerpt

Over six million Maya people presently live in Guatemala, southern Mexico and Belize. Since the early 1980's the Maya have begun emigrating to the United States, so that there are now over a hundred thousand Maya living in California, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, and other states. They are part of a civilization over three thousand years old, a civilization whose dramatic and well known classic architecture spanned several hundred years of their history. Victor Montejo is a Jakaltek Maya who is from the Northwestern Highlands of Guatemala near the Mexican Border. In the 1930's anthropologist Oliver La Farge called the Jakaltek Maya "The Year Bearer's People." He was amazed at the Jakaltek skill in remembering and using the complicated ritual calendar of the ancient Maya.

Victor Montejo himself is a bearer of Jakaltek Maya knowledge and wisdom, a perceptive man who brings contemporary Maya experience and thought to life through his work. He is trilingual and tricultural. His first language is Jakaltek Maya, one of the 31 Mayan languages still spoken today in Guatemala, southern Mexico and Belize, and he is likewise fluent in Spanish and English. His own journey through life has taken him from the mountains and corn fields of his community in Guatemala to U.S. life in New York and Connecticut. The trip from his own village to the U.S.

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