8 Ajaw 8 Sak (October 26, 2019): Uspantek Students Discover Maya Writing and the Ch’olq’iij Calendar

8 Ajaw 8 Sak. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara

“Beloved Grandmothers-Grandfathers Forgive Me… I will try to understand what you said”

Uspantek Students Discover Maya Writing and the Ch’olq’iij Calendar

As we once again approach the season of Día de los Muertos, we hear from Pedro Alejandro Vasquez Tay about his work this past July with Uspantek students from Pinal de Uspantán in Quiche, Guatemala. He begins his report with a heartfelt plea by asking forgiveness from his ancestors for not being able to read and write as they did, with hope that he and his students will one day be able to understand their words.

This month brings good news from the Congreso Planning Team, who are now tentatively proposing to hold the Fifth International Congreso in August of 2020, with the goal of more easily reaching out to participants from as many different Mayan language communities as possible, with many of them concentrated in the highlands of Chiapas and Western Guatemala.

There has been a coordinated effort to put together an international Congreso Planning Team by recruiting one man and one women to represent each of the five major Maya regions: Chiapas, Belize, Western Guatemala, Eastern Guatemala, and the Yucatan. We are very encouraged to hear of these collaborative developments, and we look forward to reporting more of the details as soon as the plans are solidified. The planning of the Congresos is now largely in the hands of our Maya colleagues, as it should be, and we at MAM are happy to help serve in whatever capacity we are needed.

As always, thank you for all of your ongoing support, and helping our Maya friends reconnect to the voices of their ancestors.

Sib’alaj Maltyox,
Michael Grofe, President

A playful activity: “We rotate like the Maya calendar does”, a dynamic application to understand the Cholq’iij and its twenty days, and to identify them in logograms.

“First, Beloved Grandmothers-Grandfathers, forgive me; I ask for a license and permission, because I no longer write as you wrote. I will try to understand what you said.”  ~P .Alejandro Vásquez Tay 

Workshop Report

General information

Workshop name: Maya epigraphy workshop called “Ojr Mayb’ Tz’iib’ li Cholq’iij rechaq ajmayb’ ” (Maya Ancient Scripture and interpretation of the Cholq’iij Calendar)

Facilitator: Pedro Alejandro Vásquez Tay (Uspanteko Maya-K’iché)

Objective: Raise awareness among young Maya about the importance of recognizing the writing of grandparents and the described messages that are currently being discovered. 

Date: July 15, 2019 

Beneficiaries: 29 young people (students) from the Basic Cooperative Institute, Pinal municipality of Uspantán, Quiché, Guatemala Continue reading

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