This case study of a highland Guatemala town examines what it means to be Maya in a rapidly changing and globalized world. In providing an historical synopsis of the Kaqchikel Maya from preColumbian through Colonial times to the present day, this volume focuses on the use of language, dress, and crafts as emblems of ethnicity, nationality, and political allegiance. Tecpán considers the dynamics of ethnic boundaries in light of the use of the Kaqchikel language versus Spanish, the growing role of Protestantism and the revitalization of traditional Maya religion versus Catholicism, and traditional subsistence agriculture in the face of an expanding reliance on export crops. It examines in particular the role of weaving and other indigenous crafts in linking Tecpanecos to larger economic and political orbits and for defining local, regional, and national identities. As a result, this accessibly written book demonstrates that even traditional Maya cultural forms are actively constructed in the context of intense global connections.
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