(Photo: Yucatán al Instante)

The album U t’aan lak’inil maaya paalalo’ob (Maya Children’s Voices from the East) adds to the resources of indigenous school teachers and alternatives aimed at preserving the oral tradition of Yucatan, after the donation of copies made by the Secretariat of Culture and the Arts (Sedeculta) to that of Education (Segey).

Referring to the importance of having tools that promote pride in the roots and reaffirm the value of the identity of the Mayan communities, the head of the Sedeculta, Loreto Villanueva Trujillo, said that this cross-cutting work makes children’s participation in culture more visible. 

“These stories must be highlighted, because the material has been a success, and allows the original language to be conserved and promoted, among girls and boys, for whom it will be useful, stimulating, and recreational,” she mentioned.

For her part, the director of Basic Education of the Segey, Linda Basto Ávila, pointed out that the compact discs will be available at schools, so that the oral tradition of the stories endures, told by mothers, fathers, grandmothers, and grandfathers to their Maya descendants.

They include 14 stories, recorded in Mayan and Spanish, by students between the ages of 10 and 14, who live in Chemax, Temozón, and Yaxcabá. They highlight its brevity, freshness, and originality, which allow listeners to know the wisdom of the Mayab and, consequently, appreciate it.

The stories are told by María Guadalupe Petul Dzul, María Clara Koh Uh, Heidy Janet Cahum Dzul, Saydi Noemí Mukul Cupul, Ángel Jesús Kauil Can, María Yazmín Clau Uc, Marell Gisel Tuyu Puc and Jorge Luis Baas Pech, all native Mayan speakers.

The content is about the Balames, beings that are located in each of the cardinal points of the Peninsula, to protect them from all evil; the origin of the name of the population of Hunukú and its traditional festivals; gastronomy, and the jéetsméek ceremony, just to name a few.

This effort is part of the Children’s Recordings in the Mayan Language 2019 project, which resulted from the Program for the Integral Development of the Cultures of the Indigenous Peoples in the same year, in charge of the General Directorate of Popular, Indigenous and Urban Cultures.

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