The colorful book “Wisdom of the Rocky Hillsides” (Etamabál re u wo Xaq) is hot off the press. In preparation for the book launch at the Boston Public Library on May 16, 2013, ArtCorps Artist Isabel Carrió journeys through the book’s eight stories and captivating illustrations.
These short stories from the communities of the Panquix, Rancho de Teja, Xolnahualá, Xeman, Chuipec, Patuj, Chuicaxtun and Pacapox in Totonicapán, Guatemala, transport us with images of communal forests, birds, snakes and dolls made of gold that bring good fortune. These ancestral stories, told by the grandmothers and grandfathers of these communities to their grandchildren, transmit important messages about caring for the forest and water resources, respecting nature and the close relationship between human beings and the natural world.
This inter-generational project, which began months ago while traversing the mountain roads of these far-flung communities, has become tangible through this book dedicated to keeping traditional memory alive. By documenting stories from this oral tradition, we seek to preserve the cultural identity and understanding of the K’iche’ Mayan people for generations to come. Read more about the process of documenting and illustrating the stories.
Thanks to the grandmothers and grandfathers, and the teachers and the children who participated in this project, today we have a document that keeps the indigenous K’iche’ Maya language alive and takes us on a timeless journey to a place where rocks have special powers and forests embrace the clouds.
This project was realized in collaboration with EcoLogic Development Fund.
Translated from Spanish by Karen Phillips.