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Mayan Artifacts
I couldn’t think of a title for this post.

I was browsing through some old photographs and I found photos of Mayan artifacts I’ve been offered to buy during my travels.

What really upsets me is how locals refer to this artifacts. They don’t see them as pieces of their past, their heritage or culture. No, they just see it as a commodity for sale.
“Yo una vez encontre en una cueva un craneo de un indio.”, I once found the skull of an Indian, a Guatemalan living on small town in Peten was told me. Y que lo hiciste, what did you do with it, I asked him. “Lo tire en el monte”, I ditched it on the bushes he replies. He told me he did not care for that, he wanted something he could sell.

The people who showed me these artifacts told me: Teniamos una figura de la cara de un indio. We had a carving of an “Indian” face. I found this offensive as well as funny. “Indian” is a word commonly used as an insult but it also is a miss used word referring to the “indigenous” people (Mayan). The people who told me this were indigenous (Mayan).

© 2014, Eli Orozco. All rights reserved.

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