Thursday, September 11, 2008
Q'eqchi' and Mopan Maya Bird Traditions
We met Francisco at the Deer Dance, and he drove us several places in his pickup truck. A Q'eqchi' Maya who came to Belize from Guatemala as a small boy, and married to a Mopan woman, Francisco spent his younger years hunting and farming and absorbing a lot of local bird names and stories. We had a great time hanging out with him as he told us how birds helped him find game while hunting, or how they influence the corn crops. As people give up hunting and farming, they start to lose this kind of knowledge, so it was great to find it still alive and well...for the time being. While the average American can identify less than 20 bird species, we routinely found Mayans who knew many, many more. Francisco could tell us about more than double that many.
Posted by birdchaser at 9:49 AM