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Friday, September 15, 2006

Ch'orti' Birds

Monday, September 4 was my first day of ethnoornithology field work in Jocotan. I had come down to Guatemala to help Kerry Hull, a linguist from Reitaku University in Japan who studies Ch'orti' Mayan, identify the birds that he had collected Ch'orti' names and stories about. We spent each morning hiking around with Kerry's informants, and the afternoon trying to figure out the identification of other birds known by the local people, but that we hadn't seen yet.

The first morning we went up to an aldea above Jocotan, and found Clay-colored Robins, Social Flycatchers, Rufous-naped Wrens, Stripe-headed Sparrows, as well as vultures and doves in and around the yards or patios in the aldea.

As we were sitting in the patio of our main Ch'orti' assistant, he heard two wakos calling. They flew by, and we got a quick look--two Laughing Falcons. We collected some good stories about these birds, and recorded them in Ch'orti' and Spanish in the afternoon.

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