Chichicastenango: A Guatemalan Village

By Ruth Bunzel | Go to book overview

CHAPTER SIX
RITUALS IN TEXT TRANSLATIONS

Introduction

The following texts of rituals are offered as further documentation of the points made in the preceding pages, and as examples of Quiché ritual style. They are selected from a much larger body of material, and cover all aspects of the sacramental system, as embodied in the occult calendar. The material that is not published here is either interspersed in the body of the book, or has been weeded out since it adds nothing new.

For such readers as wish to hit only the high spots, the following suggestions are made: No. 1, General Thanksgiving, showing man's relation to the universe; No. 2, Commemoration of the Dead, an obligatory act of faith for all Quichés; No. 7, The Initiation of a chuchqajau, for interesting autobiographical material, confessions, and for the clear description of the professional ethics of the chuchqajau; No. 13, "Change of Personality," a "strong ceremony" which shows most clearly the operation of "divine justice", and contains a blood sacrifice; Nos. 14 and 15, the two ceremonies of sorcery; and No. 16, Completion of Work, for its clear exposition, and examples of divination, and for the important material on the relationship between the informant and the ethnologist in a difficult situation.

Four ceremonies contain divinations: No. 3, Restoration of Lost Money; No. 7, the Initiation of a chuchqajau; No. 13, a Cure of Sickness; and No. 16, Completion of Work. Two cures of sickness (Nos. 12 and 13) contain confessions and No. 10, Protection after an Evil Portent, contains responses.

The material was collected in Quiché and Spanish. The Quiché version was recorded first, and later translated by the informant who had complete control of Spanish. This was a literal word-for-word translation, with explanatory notes. One ritual, the initiation of the chuchqajau, was written out by the informant in Quiché with Spanish interlinear translation. The English translations are not English translations of Spanish translations of Quiché texts, but were made directly from the original Quiché, with the aid of the Spanish translation and explanations. Since I did not make an exhaustive study

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Chichicastenango: A Guatemalan Village
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Table of Contents xxv
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter One - Economic Life 15
  • Chapter Two - Family Life 93
  • Chapter Three - Government 154
  • Chapter Four - Fiestas 192
  • Chapter Five - Man's Fate 261
  • Chapter Six - Rituals in Text Translations 305
  • Appendix I - The Market at Chichicastenango 404
  • Appendix II 410
  • Appendix III 412
  • Appendix IV - Dances 424
  • Appendix V 428
  • Glossary 430
  • Bibliography 433
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