Category Archives: Archivo/Archive

Tsikbal yéetel Roger Juárez/Conversación con Roger Juárez/A Chat with Roger Juárez

Tumen/por/by Paul Worley

Lela’ jump’éel tsikbal yéetel u paalal Roger Juárez, u k’aabae’ Roger Juárez. Letie’ juntúul máak ku paax. Letie’ ku paax yéetel u múuch’, u k’aabae’ Yum Kin. Letie’ yáan u t’aan ti’ Facebook yéetel u paax ti’ Youtube (. k’aay; .. k’aay). Roger beyxan ku xookik arqueología ti’ u nojoch najil xook Jo.’

Esta es una conversación con el hijo de Roger Juárez, se llama Roger Juárez. El es músico y su grupo se llama Yum Kin (Señor sol o Padre sol). Ellos tienen una página en Facebook, así como algunas canciones en Youtube (canción 1; canción 2).El también estudia arqueología en la UADY en Mérida.

A chat with the son of Roger Juárez, Roger Juárez. He is a musician and plays with the group Yum Kin (Lord Sun or Father Sun). The group is on Facebook, and has songs on Youtube (Song 1; Song 2). Roger also studies Archeology at the UADY in Mérida.

Tsikbal yéetel Roger Juárez/Entrevista con Roger Juárez/Interview with Roger Juárez

Tumen/por/by Paul Worley

Jump’éel chan tsikbal yéetel yuum Roger Juárez/Una conversación con Roger Juárez/A chat with Roger Juárez

Roger is a Maya potter. In the interview he explains his work and the materials he uses.

Roger es un alfarero maya de Ticul, Yucatán. En la entrevista explica su trabajo, así como también las materiales que emplea.


Túumben tsikbal/Cuentos nuevos/New Stories

Por Paul Worley

Hemos discutido la posibilidad de subir todos los videos que temenos al internet para que sean disponibles a la gente mayahablante. Así que mientras nosotros trabajamos en la transcripción y traducción de ellos, ya sirvan su meta original.

Pues, hoy empecé a subir estos videos no-editados. Los puedes encontrar al final del índice debajo de “Unedited video and transcriptions.” Por el momento subimos el video completo de la obra de teatro Chan weech por el famoso dramaturgo maya yukateko Armando Dzul Ek, así como también unas canciones de Don Rómulo, un amigo de Santa Elena.

¡Esperamos que les gusten!


First look at our next animated film

This is a test shot of Mariano from our upcoming short animated film of his story about the possum and the papaya tree.


Animated Gifs

One of our goals is to create connections with native Mayan artists. These two animated gifs were originally created as zoetrope strips by the artist Roger Juárez of Ticul and are the first of what we hope will be several collaborations with Mayan artists.

FYI: please click on then to see them animated!

Jumping mouse

Jumping mouse


Smoking Maya

Smoking Maya


Contemporary Maya Prophecy: The Old Woman of Mani

by Paul Worley

Mural of Old Woman in Mani

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the end of the Maya calendar means the end of the world is upon us. I, for one, am therefore glad my collaborators and I got the website up successfully!

During this inescapable crush of the “end-of-Maya-calendar,” recently I’ve been thinking a lot about a story Mariano Bonilla has told me many times, one roughly entitled “The Old Woman of Mani.” (For a complete version of the story, please refer to Allan F. Burns’s excellent  An Epoch of Miracles). The short version is that when the end times have arrived, there will be no water on the face of the earth save in the town of Mani. In the cenote there will be an old woman (perhaps the sorceress mentioned at the conclusion of version #1 of “The Dwarf of Uxmal” on our index) who will give you a gourdful of water in exchange for a small child. The water will not slake your thirst and she will feed the child to her feathered serpent (Kukulkan).

If you go to Mani today you can find not only the well but also the mural above depicting this offering, and local children will line up to tell you the story by heart. Last summer Mariano and I went to the well on a trip looking to record more storytellers.

As we left Mani, he said, “You know, this has already come to pass. Do you want to hear about it?” He then gave the following interpretation of the text: until recently people could freely draw water from cenotes and other wells throughout the region. However, after a certain hurricane (he didn’t say which one) the groundwater became polluted and people began to buy water, something that people still must do today. According to Mariano, in paying for a daily necessity, water, people must sacrifice their children insofar as they spend money that could otherwise be used to pay for things like schooling. That is, their children’s futures are “sacrificed” for the sake of current expediencies. The old woman represents the townspeople who benefit from this trade, i.e. local storeowners. Those who benefit most, however, are the multinational corporations who receive the lion’s share of the profits from bottling and distributing live-giving water in the countryside, and who also have a vested interested in not cleaning up the wells. They are the ones who figuratively consume the children one has to pay for the water.

When he was finished Mariano turned to me and stated, “See, it’s like with the Bible, you can’t be so literal about these things.” When people ask me about the “end-of-the-Maya-calendar” or even the relevance of Maya oral literatures, I think back to Mariano’s exegesis of this well-known oral text, its connection with the “end times,” and how it has become a powerful way through which to read and interpret contemporary reality. Indeed, these texts are constantly being born and reborn, interpreted and reinterpreted.

The Western need to co-opt such texts and silence these voices and textual traditions is nowhere more prevalent than the 2012 hysteria. Indeed, why the need to be so literal?


¡Ooken/Entra/Come on in!

Welcome to Tsikbal ich maya, a trilingual (Maya/Spanish/English) website dedicated to contemporary Yukatek Maya language and cultural production. The primary focus of the site is oral literature, but in the coming months we plan to upload reflections and interviews with Yukatek Maya writers, academics, and intellectuals, essays by non-Maya researchers and cultural critics, and updates on work associated with the website. We are also seeking funding to begin work on an interactive Yukatek Maya vocabulary. Beginning in January we plan on posting to the site twice a month, with new video being uploaded every six months.

The Tsikbal ich maya user’s guide can be found in a sidebar on the right side of the webpage. There you will find everything you need to know about navigating the site and its contents. If you would like to contact members of the project, our collective email address can also be found there. Links in the header identify the main contents of the site as of December 2011: animation (Yukatek Maya stories that have been digitally animated); the archive of project posts; a trilingual index of stories we have uploaded; and a page about project participants and the history of the project.

So, ooken/entra/come on in, we’re glad to have you here!