Museums Connect Workshops on Maya Language, Culture, and Identity

Sixteen students from Patton High School in Morganton, NC, who are of indigenous (Maya or other Latin American) heritage were selected to take part in a program of cultural exchange with a group of peers in Yucatán, Mexico.  The two groups are participating in workshops on topics related to language, identity, history, and migration and will also undertake archival research at the Southern Historical Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill and in the State Archives of Yucatán (AGEY), thanks to a generous grant from the U.S. Department of State.

The Patton group has recently completed two workshops led by UNC faculty — Dr. Emilio del Valle Escalante (on Maya Literature, Language, and Identity), and Dr. Gabrielle Vail (on Maya Archaeology and Written Texts).  Students are not only recovering a sense of their collective history and past, but are also learning phrases in Yucatec Maya (a language spoken by half a million people today) so they can greet their counterparts in Yucatán in their natal language.student-epigraphers-workshop-2