We Were Taught to Plant Corn Not to Kill: Secrets Behind the Silence of the Mayan People

We Were Taught to Plant Corn Not to Kill: Secrets Behind the Silence of the Mayan People

by Douglas Stuart London, Tax'a Leon London
     
 

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My name is Tax'a Leon and this book is about my family and my people, the K'iche' Maya. My father was murdered three years ago. I still have my mother and 12 brothers and sisters. Nothing was done to solve the murder of my father or the people that turn up every day in the cornfields machetied to death. After all the things that have happened to our family there are… See more details below

Overview

My name is Tax'a Leon and this book is about my family and my people, the K'iche' Maya. My father was murdered three years ago. I still have my mother and 12 brothers and sisters. Nothing was done to solve the murder of my father or the people that turn up every day in the cornfields machetied to death. After all the things that have happened to our family there are times when I feel fear and sadness and despair in humanity. I wrote this book to tell people about the armed conflict that is still taking place in my country, Guatemala. The interviews were conducted in my native language K'iche'. People have trusted me and told me their stories. They told me with fear and anxiety in their eyes. Painting was also a way they could express how they feel without having to come up with words that consciously commit them to forming an opinion. The violence continues because no one wants to remember the past and our lips are sealed. We are afraid.. Not long ago, 200,000 people were murdered only 750 miles from Miami. There are people today in our governments who may not want you know about the worst violence that the Americas have seen in this century. This is a portrait of the Mayan people, written by a young Maya K'iche' artist, Tax'a, and her American husband Harvard Medical School researcher Douglas London. Eighty-one paintings by Mayan artists, including K'iche' children's art and photos, accompany graphic testimonies by Maya witnesses. "We Were Taught to Plant Corn not to Kill" is a stunning art book, an uncovering of the secrets behind the silence of the Mayan people and a look at the daily life and culture of the K'iche'. The Maya need your help because history is still happening to them.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Joanna Solomon
Through artwork and personal stories, the authors have complied a most compassionate account of the ongoing conflict between the military and the people of Guatemala. A native Mayan woman and her husband worked together to create a full portrait of the violence and destruction that faces the Mayan people. The book incorporates touching personal stories and interviews, with original art to complete this grand task. The text is thorough, covering topics from Mayan history and culture to the importance of memories and the horror of genocide. The interviews are also thorough, spanning all generations and all types of reactions to the tragedy. The book serves the important purpose of shedding light on a current issue often overlooked. The trauma is still very much alive in the hearts of those involved in the making of this volume, and that pain is evident in the art and stories. Because of its incredibly personal and detailed nature, this could be an excellent resource for those interested in the Mayan genocide or general Mayan history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780977810406
Publisher:
Back Up Books Human Rights Press
Publication date:
04/28/2007
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.37(d)

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