This book offers a very timely discussion of the interrelated problems of orality and literacy in the context of language endangerment and revitalization efforts. The author focuses on Guatemala and the renewed interest among speakers of two Mayan communities—Santa Eulalia, Huehuetenango, and San Pedro La Laguna, Sololá—such as native Mayan intellectuals and women's groups in strengthening their cultural traditions and linguistic practices following the rise of the Mayan Movement. Informed by the history of an ancient literacy tradition as well as ethnographic interviews and surveys and actual uses of writing in public and personal contexts over a period of 24 months, the author investigates what she calls the reinvention of Mayan literacy. This focus, she observes, fills a gap in the literature on language loss and revitalization in Guatemala pertaining to literacy in Mayan languages among the several generations that make up...
Book Review|May 01 2018
David Mora-Marín; Mayan Literacy Reinvention in Guatemala. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 May 2018; 98 (2): 350–352. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-4379823
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