By Daniel Croles Fitjar

In Balancing the World, the writer illuminates what an ajq’ij, or «daykeeper», is by means of offering fabric he accrued in a sequence of interviews with practitioners of Maya spirituality. usually categorised as Maya clergymen, shamans, religious courses, or perhaps witches, the lads and girls known as ajq’ijab do various paintings to assist their viewers, their ancestors, the spirits and the realm itself. 9 interviewees from the Quetzaltenango sector within the Guatemalan highlands inform approximately how they medication and keep away from disease, practice divinations, speak with the ancestors and do their half in balancing the area. such a lot of them agree that they've been selected for this accountability and so they see it as either a present and a burden.

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Coleccion Clasicos (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1974): 163–165, note 3. Even though they use two names, the interviewees usually use both to talk about the same deity. It was common for both the interviewees and other people I met to repeat the same concept twice, with different names, to emphasise the point. ’ 8 See Chapter 4 below. 35 ajq’ijab in the plural. The word was used by both the K’iche’-speaking and the Mam-speaking interviewees. The term ajq’ij is not gender-specific, and so there can be both male and female ajq’ijab.

Pdf. 18 Commission for Historical Clarification, “Acts of Genocide,” 391. 19 Grandin, Blood of Guatemala: 222. 20 Grandin, Levenson, and Oglesby, Guatemala Reader, 501–544; Lucena Salmoral, Historia de Latinoamérica: 349 f. Manuel Lucena Salmoral points out that the emergence of popular indigenous movements is a recent phenomenon in several countries of Latin America. Lucena Salmoral, Atlas de Latinoamérica: 249 f. 21 I refer to this group as “Manuel’s group” for the purposes of this project. I will present it below.

11 - Isabela According to Isabela, an ajq’ij is a “natural talent” who just knows what he or she is doing. 12 None of the others made this distinction between ajq’ij and the Spanish translations, and by Isabela’s definition, none of the interviewees would be ajq’ijab, as they all had had teachers. Isabela also told me that most people called her ajq’ij anyway, and that she had no problem with them doing so – she just does not use the term to describe herself. It is possible that this is a regional difference, as Isabela originally was from another part of the K’iche’ area than the rest and only recently had moved closer to Quetzaltenango.

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