By Daniel Croles Fitjar
In Balancing the World, the writer illuminates what an ajq’ij, or «daykeeper», is by means of featuring fabric he amassed in a sequence of interviews with practitioners of Maya spirituality. usually categorised as Maya monks, shamans, religious courses, or perhaps witches, the boys and girls referred to as ajq’ijab do numerous paintings to assist their viewers, their ancestors, the spirits and the realm itself. 9 interviewees from the Quetzaltenango quarter within the Guatemalan highlands inform approximately how they treatment and stay away from disorder, practice divinations, converse 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 they usually see it as either a present and a burden.
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Additional resources for Balancing the World: Contemporary Maya ajq’ijab in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
28 Part II Chapter 3 – Common terms Before presenting the ajq’ijab and their work, I will briefly discuss some of the terms that I use when presenting the material, including “ajq’ij,” “Maya spirituality,” and some key concepts that the interviewees tended to refer to in our conversations. I will also use the opportunity to discuss why I have chosen to use Maya spirituality, and to discuss what I mean by that term. My choice of terms is largely based on the choices made by the interviewees, and therefore I see this discussion as fitting within the empirical part of this text.
3 It is in this landscape my interviewees practise Maya spirituality and do parts of their work as ajq’ijab by visiting sacred places to pray and perform ceremonies. 4 It is an old city with a rich history, and it has been – and still is – the most important commercial centre of the Western Highlands. 2014. html. 2 Coe, The Maya: 60 f. 3 There are Maya populations in all of Guatemala’s neighbouring countries, but the majority of the Maya today live in Guatemala. 4 Xela is short for Xelajú, the old K’iche’ name of the city.
My interviewees were all ajq’ijab themselves or closely connected to the ajq’ijab – a group of people that normally fits within the religious specialists-category one often finds within the comparative study of religion. Yet it was clear from the start that calling what they were working with religión, ‘religion,’ simply would not do. In Guatemala, both among the interviewees and other people that I met, wellknown terms are used in a different way than they often are within the study of religion.
Balancing the World: Contemporary Maya ajq’ijab in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala by Daniel Croles Fitjar