Classification: Mayan




Ethnic Relations between the Q́eqchí and Poqomchí of Guatemala: Preservation, Transculturation and Mutual Influence


Guatemala is a multicultural country characterized by multicultural ethnic diversity. Alta Verapaz presents a clear example of the preservation of the Mayan identity, which is due to multiple factors. Three main ethnic groups are the basis for the identity of this region; Q́eqchí, Pokomchí and Achí. These kindred ethnic groups, whose roots lie in the ancient Mayans, show several similarities and points of convergence, although each has unique characteristics. They keep part of their original identity and Mayan essence, due to various complex mechanisms of sustainable and sustained transculturation. The main focus of this paper is to analyze the self-preservation of the Mayan identity in the Q́eqchí and Pokomchí peoples, their relationships in a context of social exclusion, and maintenance of their own identity and traditions despite processes of transculturality and external cultural imposition. Each ethnic group has kept some aspects of its original culture. The mutual influence that these cultures have on each other helps to ensure the maintenance of their own respective cultural identities. In this paper we compare the Q́eqch́i and Poqomchí groups in terms of the most important aspects of the original Mayan culture and the Spanish influence, examining the process of ladinization this country has undergone. The main aspects we will examine are language, cosmovision and gastronomy.

Victor Gatica

Jan. 1, 2014