Ch'ul Mut: Sacred Bird Messengers of the Chamula Maya (Paperback)
Tsotsil-Maya elder, curer, singer, and artist Maruch M ndez P rez began learning about birds as a young shepherdess climbing trees and raiding nests for eggs to satisfy her endless hunger. As she grew into womanhood and apprenticed herself to older women as a curer and seer, the natural history of birds she learned so roughly as a child expanded to include ancestral Maya beliefs about birds as channels of communication with deities in the spirit world who had dominion over human lives. In these testimonies dictated to her lifelong friend, anthropologist Diane Rus, M ndez P rez describes her years of dreams, instruction, and experience. Her narrative sheds light on the basic values of her Chamula culture and cosmovision and has remarkable parallels to concepts of the ancient Maya as interpreted by scholars.