Maya Market Women: Power and Tradition in San Juan Chamelco, by S. Ashley Kistler

By S. Ashley Kistler

As cultural mediators, Chamelco's marketplace girls provide a version of up to date Q'eqchi' identification grounded within the energy of the Maya old legacy. Guatemala's Maya groups have confronted approximately years of continuous demanding situations to their tradition, from colonial oppression to the instability of violent army dictatorships and the appearance of recent worldwide applied sciences. nevertheless background, the folk of San Juan Chamelco, Guatemala, have successfully resisted major alterations to their cultural identities. Chamelco citizens embody new applied sciences, principles, and assets to bolster their indigenous identities and preserve Maya perform within the twenty first century, a resilience that units Chamelco except different Maya towns.

not like the region's different indigenous ladies, Chamelco's Q'eqchi' marketplace girls in achieving either prominence and visibility as owners, dominating social domain names from faith to neighborhood politics. those girls honor their households' legacies via continuation of the inherited, high-status advertising and marketing exchange. In Maya industry Women, S. Ashley Kistler describes how marketplace ladies achieve social status as mediators of occasionally conflicting realities, harnessing the forces of world capitalism to revitalize Chamelco's indigenous id. operating on the intersections of globalization, kinship, gender, and reminiscence, Kistler offers a firsthand examine Maya markets as a website within which the values of capitalism and indigenous groups meet.

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In 1944, there was one Evangelical pastor in Chamelco and about 175 Evangelical converts (Goubaud 1949). By the 1960s, several Evangelical and Protestant denominations, including the Assemblies of God, Mennonites, and Baptists, had established churches in Chamelco (Adams 1999). Some Evangelical churches forbid Q’eqchi’ congregation members from practicing indigenous rituals, burning candles, using copal incense, and leaving sacrifices on household altars. Congregation members are also forbidden from drinking alcohol, dancing to marimba music, or even attending certain types of parties, especially Saint’s Day celebrations.

Ancient Maya monuments depict royal women dressed in clothing similar to contemporary indigenous dress (Otzoy 1996), though recent research suggests that indigenous dress in its current form emerged as a form of colonial oppression when Spanish colonizers forced the Maya to wear dress unique to their region to identify them among the masses (Martínez Peláez 1970; Méndez de la Vega 1989). Otzoy (1996) nevertheless argues many Maya use indigenous dress as a symbol of their historical identity, identifying the textiles and the technology used to produce them as historical continuities.

A council of elders selected him to serve as a leader because, as a former president of the Q’eqchi’ branch of the Academy of Mayan Languages told me: They arrived at a consensus, they came up with criteria to elect a new cacique.  .  .  . He had to know war and had to be a strategic man, to be able to direct the army that they had then.  . be able to manage destiny. (Kistler 2010a: 420) Once leader, Aj Pop B’atz’ prepared to resist the inevitable Spanish invasion. He successfully fended off their first attempts to invade Tezulutlán and kept his people safe and free of Spanish domination for more than a decade.

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