Domingo Dzul Poot, the dean of Maya storytellers, dies at 94

Photo: (Reporteros hoy)

Merida, Yucatan, (July 28, 2021).- The State Government, through the Secretariat of Culture and the Arts (Sedeculta), regrets the death of Domingo Dzul Poot, considered the dean of the Maya storytellers of the Yucatan peninsula, who through the years stood out for maintaining and rescuing the oral tradition.

His work focused on preserving the intangible heritage of our state. Since 1977 he worked as a transcriber and paleographer in the Department of History of the Yucatán delegation of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), a position he held for almost 30 years.

He was a custodian of traditions as well as compiler and writer of stories and legends, which he recorded in the books called  Mayan Tales I  and  Maya Stories I  of 1985 and 1986, respectively, with four editions each.

Rest in peace Domingo Dzul Poot. Photo: (Reporteros hoy)

In 2019, state authorities recognized him for his contribution and promotion of our mother tongue in the development of the Maya Cordemex Dictionary, which he put together along with Refugio Vermont Salas, Juan Ramón Bastarrachea Manzano, Willian Brito Sansores, and his son David Dzul Góngora, all under the direction of Alfredo Barrera Vázquez.

In turn, in 2012 he was awarded the highest award granted by the public administration: the Yucatan Medal, and in 2008, the then National Council for Culture and the Arts (Conaculta), paid him a tribute for his contribution to the Mexican letters, within the framework of the International Year of Languages. The Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY) named the Second University Floral Games “Domingo Dzul Poot”.

He is the author of the books  Maya literary traditions  (1984),  Maya historical legends and traditions  (1987), and  Stories that the grandmother told  (2010), among other texts that include poems and the translation of the Bible into Maya. Part of his work is available at the virtual library of 

Domingo Dzul Poot was born in Bécal, Calkiní, Campeche, on May 12, 1927. He studied primary school in his hometown to finish it in Hecelchakán. He completed his high school at the American College of Mérida, Yucatán, in 1955. Two years later, he entered the Presbyterian Seminary, where he was ordained in 1961. In 1963, he headed the “Jesús” church in Progreso.

His passion for Maya origins, customs, and the rescue of oral stories and family legends, made him an outstanding storyteller, recognized nationally and internationally.

Source: Reporteros hoy

The Yucatan Times Newsroom