Across Guatemala, Mayan peoples are struggling to recover from decades of cataclysmic upheaval--religious conversions, civil war, displacement, military repression. Richard Wilson carried out long-term research with Q’eqchi’-speaking Mayas in the province of Alta Verapaz to ascertain how these events affected social organization and identity. He finds that their rituals of fertility and healing--abandoned in the 1970s during Catholic and Protestant evangelizations--have been reinvented by an ethnic revivalist movement led by Catholic lay activists, who seek to renovate the earth cult in order to create a new pan-Q’eqchi’ ethnic identity.
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