As stated in the agenda (see 13 Ajaw 3 Xul, July 14 blog post), an extended session at the congreso was devoted to presentations by Maya epigraphers with experience in giving workshops in Mayan-speaking communities.
The first group to present was referred to as the OKMA group. Although OKMA itself no longer exists, these epigraphers were leading participants in OKMA workshops during its heyday in the 1990s and 2000s.
Waykan Gonzalo Benito gave the history of Maya workshops going back to the early days in the 1980s with Linda Schele, Federico Fahsen and others.
Workshops by Linda Schele, Nikolai Grube, Federico Fahsen, Kathryn Josserand, Nick Hopkins, and others became more formalized over time.
Antonio Cuxil, Lolmay Garcia and Waykan Gonzalo Benito, among many others, were pioneers in Maya epigraphy for Mayas.
The value of Nikolai Grube’s annual OKMA workshops to Maya epigraphy cannot be over estimated.
More recently, beginning in 2009, Waykan and Antonio have teamed up to give workshops in the Pokom-speaking areas of eastern Guatemala.
Lolmay García, another long-time MAM colleague and veteran of OKMA workshops shared in the presentations.
Lolmay García and Antonio Cuxil were regulars at the Maya Meetings in Texas during the tenure of Linda Schele and Nikolai Grube.
Lolmay, Antonio, and Waykan, with their deep experience in learning and teaching epigraphy were inspirational examples to the audience of more than 70 Mayas, the vast majority of which were beginners. Many congreso participants, now for the first time, gained a historical sense of the movement they are a part of.