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Vicente Canché preserves Maya traditions through his work of art

February 16, 2010

By: Ligia María

Translated from Spanish; original version below.

Mexico City. January 21, 2010.Vicente Canché is a Mayan presenting his work of art, the tales that integrate his work have a message that “allows us to rescue the values that we are losing”.

Versión original en Español, abajo

Using vernacular language, religious ceremonies and oral tradition in general, are some cultural and social elements that we are losing, said indigenous writer Vicente Canché, that is why he is dedicated to rescuing and preserving Mayan traditions.

This is possible through the project “Xexet´alkuxtalo´ob” (Remnant of Life), an investigation that receives support from the Incentive Program to the Creation and Artistic Developing (PECDA). This is part of the National Advice for Culture and Arts, inside the “literature in Mayan language” in coordination with Yucatán government.

“For a long time I have been thinking to portray experiences of some Mayan communities and how their habitants live. There are some traditions that give us identity, and little by little they have lost their truth value,” said Vicente.

Some texts are related with religious ceremonies and Mayan elders “for the collision that we have with occidental culture and globalization.”

“These ceremonies are not in use any more. When people know that there will be a ceremony they show up because it is attractive for them, not for what it means” said Vicente.

Canché said that he wrote stories about the animal world too. For instance there is a fable that compares cougar and cat’s force, to teach human beings to measure their capacities and face new challenges.

Something that concern the Yucatecan writer is the disuse of his mother language: “this is something I been working on for a long time. Even though we have second national place talking the Mayan language, the risk of disappearance is there, because new generations are not learning it.”

His tales were written in Mayan and that is why he would like that the publication of these books in the Mayan language.

“It will be better to have both Mayan and Spanish editions. I hope some institution could support this idea,” he said.

There are disadvantage in bilingual editions because even Mayan-speakers, we read first in Spanish and then in our own language.

The author hopes that the tales that make “Xexet´alkuxtalo´ob (Remnant of Life) could be published during this year.


Spanish version. Versión en Español.


Ciudad de México, 21 de enero de 2010. El uso de la lengua autóctona, ceremonias religiosas y la tradición oral, en general, representan algunos elementos culturales y sociales que se están perdiendo, consideró el escritor indígena Vicente Canché, por lo que se ha dedicado a rescatar y preservar las tradiciones mayas.

Puede encontrar esta noticia en español en el siguiente link:

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