1 Ajaw 18 Wo (May 10, 2013): Letter from Waykan, Maya Poqomam

Waykan teaching at Academy of Maya Languages, Guatemala

Waykan teaching at Academy of Maya Languages, Guatemala

Waykan, left, with advanced students at the Congress of Maya Epigraphers, Vallodolid, 2013

Waykan, left, with advanced students at the Congress of Maya Epigraphers, Valladolid, 2013

Dear MAM,

After participating in the Congress of Maya Epigraphers in the City of Valladolid, we resumed the planned activities of teaching Maya epigraphy to different groups in the Pokomam Linguistic Community. During the months before the Congress, a group of teachers had met in the towns of Palín, Chinautla, San Luis Jilotepeque, Chuarrancho and San Pedro Ayampuc; after the Congress two more groups met in the municipality of Palín. Of these last two groups, one was composed of members enrolled in the Academy of Maya Languages of the municipality of Palín and the second were students of the “tercero básico grado” of the Center for Bilingual Education Qawinaqel, also in Palín. In this last group were youths, boys and girls, ages 14, 15, and 16.

The work is divided as follows: presentation of basic concepts of the system of writing; exercises with Poqomam words using the syllabary; deciphering an ancient hieroglyphic text to learn the formal use of syllables, logograms, dates, and numbering; and finally, making an individual project writing a formal text using the long count, tsolk’in and haab’, followed by an event with its subject, a distance number with the following date and another event, related to the first individual. For the final presentation, each student drew their text on material, ceramic or wood, to show the group. They made texts on vases, plates round or oval, and pieces of wood.

At the end of each program, the participants were happy knowing the system of Maya glyphic writing and how to use it in their own Maya language. Everyone expressed their desire to know more about the history of the ancient Maya civilization written in the Maya glyphs. For this reason, we are expecting to do more glyph workshops during the current year, as always with the help of my colleagues Antonio Cuxil, Lolmay and Hector Xol.

Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the Congress and hopefully you can continue supporting the work of spreading Maya epigraphy to the different groups that live here in Guatemala.

Waykan

P.S. Below I send you photographs that show part of the work we have done.

Member of the Poqomam Community writing her text on a piece of wood.

Member of the Poqomam Community writing her text on a piece of wood.

Tojin Benito, Poqomam student writing his text on a ceramic dish.

Tojin Benito, Poqomam student writing his text on a ceramic dish.

Tojin Benito elaborating his text.

Tojin Benito elaborating his text.

Pala’s, Poqomam musician and linguist copying his text onto a piece of wood.

Pala’s, Poqomam musician and linguist copying his text onto a piece of wood.

Junajpu Santos, Poqomam student, elaborating his text on paper before transferring it to ceramic.

Collection of ceramic items with glyphic texts written by students from the Center for Bilingual Education Qawinaqel of Palín.

Collection of ceramic items with glyphic texts written by students from the Center for Bilingual Education Qawinaqel of Palín.

One thought on “1 Ajaw 18 Wo (May 10, 2013): Letter from Waykan, Maya Poqomam

  1. Las instituciones que trabajan en Lingüística deben de promover la escritura en glifos, para promover el desarrollo intelectual de los mayas actuales

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