The Ancestors of the Ixil Maya of Guatemala: oral tradition and the pre-Columbian sites in Ilom

Monika Banach

The article is a brief reflection on the oral traditions of the Ixil Maya of the highlands of Guatemala, which concern in particular the supernatural beings that are believed to inhabit the pre-Columbian remains located in the sacred place of B’ayal I’ (‘Xacbal’ archaeological site) close to the contemporary indigenous community of Ilom in the municipality of Chajul. It aims to show how the inhabitants of Ilom imagine, verbalize and perform their bonds with the remains of the people they call the Grandfathers, what is left of the time they lived in the vicinity of where their descendants live right now, and what it means for them to co-habit their ancestral lands. The article is based on selected historical sources and materials from the fieldwork conducted in the Ixil Region between 2013–17.
Słowa kluczowe: Ixil Maya, Ilom, oral traditions, sacred landscape, creation myth

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