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Words of the True Peoples/Palabras de los Seres Verdaderos: Anthology of Contemporary Mexican Indigenous-Language Writers/Antología de Escritores Actuales en Lenguas Indígenas de México

Words of the True Peoples/Palabras de los Seres Verdaderos: Anthology of Contemporary Mexican Indigenous-Language Writers/Antología de Escritores Actuales en Lenguas Indígenas de México
Volume Two/Tomo Dos: Poetry/Poesía
Photography by George O. Jackson, Jr.

The second book in a major three-volume trilingual anthology of Mexican indigenous writing.

Series: Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowment in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture

October 2005
This is a print-on-demand title. Expedited shipping is not available.
295 pages | 8 1/2 x 11 | 12 b&w photos |

As part of the larger, ongoing movement throughout Latin America to reclaim non-Hispanic cultural heritages and identities, indigenous writers in Mexico are reappropriating the written word in their ancestral tongues and in Spanish. As a result, the long-marginalized, innermost feelings, needs, and worldviews of Mexico's ten to twenty million indigenous peoples are now being widely revealed to the Western societies with which these peoples coexist. To contribute to this process and serve as a bridge of intercultural communication and understanding, this groundbreaking, three-volume anthology gathers works by the leading generation of writers in thirteen Mexican indigenous languages: Nahuatl, Maya, Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Tojolabal, Tabasco Chontal, Purepecha, Sierra Zapoteco, Isthmus Zapoteco, Mazateco, Ñahñu, Totonaco, and Huichol.

Volume Two contains poetry by Mexican indigenous writers. Their poems appear first in their native language, followed by English and Spanish translations. Montemayor and Frischmann have abundantly annotated the Spanish, English, and indigenous-language texts and added glossaries and essays that discuss the formal and linguistic qualities of the poems, as well as their place within contemporary poetry. These supporting materials make the anthology especially accessible and interesting for nonspecialist readers seeking a greater understanding of Mexico's indigenous peoples.

  • Acknowledgments/Agradecimientos
  • Abbreviations/Abreviaturas
  • Regarding the Indigenous Languages and Alphabets in This Volume/Acerca de los idiomas y alfabetos indígenas de este volumen
  • Poetry in Mexican Indigenous Languages/La poesía en lenguas indígenas de México (Carlos Montemayor)
  • Spirit-Matter-Word: Contemporary Mexican Indigenous Poetry/Espíritu-Materia-Palabra: Poesía indígena contemporánea de México (Donald Frischmann)
  • 1. Víctor de la Cruz (Isthmus Zapotec/zapoteco del Istmo)
    • Chupa si diidxa'
      • Just Two Words
      • Sólo dos palabras
    • Dxi biaba'
      • My Fall
      • Mi caída
    • Diidxa' bisiaanda'
      • The Word I Have Forgotten
      • La palabra que olvidé
    • Lidxe' canayubi lii
      • My House Seeks You
      • Mi casa te busca
    • Huazacalú
      • It Usually Happens
      • Suele suceder
    • Tu laanu, tu lanu
      • Who Are We? What Is Our Name?
      • ¿Quiénes somos, cuál es nuestro nombre?
    • Dxi guyubu' naa
      • When You Search with Your Eyes
      • Cuando con tus ojos busques
  • 2. Víctor Terán (Isthmus Zapotec/zapoteco del Istmo)
    • Huadxí que ziyaba
      • The Day Was Fading Away
      • Caía la tarde
    • Ndaani' batanaya'
      • From the Palm of My Hand
      • En la palma de mi mano
    • Lu ti nagana
      • Indecision
      • Duda
    • Xhoopa' diidxa' ruí' xiinga guendaranaxhii
      • Six Variations on Love
      • Seis variaciones acerca del amor
    • Yaga yaa
      • Unseasoned Wood
      • Leña verde
    • Biluxe
      • It's Over
      • Se acabó
  • 3. Natalia Toledo Paz (Isthmus Zapotec/zapoteco del Istmo)
    • Liidxi na Olga
      • Olga's House
      • La casa de Olga
    • Zenaida
      • Zenaida
      • Zenaida
    • Na Marcelina
      • Doña Marcelina
      • Doña Marcelina
    • Yu'du'
      • Temple
      • Templo
    • Yoo lidxe'
      • First House
      • Casa primera
    • Guiee lú dani
      • Eye of the Volcano
      • Ojo de volcán
    • Bacaanda'
      • Dream
      • Sueño
    • Bacaanda'
      • Dream
      • Sueño
  • 4. Mario Molina Cruz (Sierra Zapotec/zapoteco de la Sierra)
    • Yu'
      • The Earth
      • La tierra
    • Yejpen nhaken nhólh
      • Drizzle Is a Woman
      • La llovizna es mujer
    • Wueté
      • Grinding
      • La molienda
    • Tu llwia'xhénza
      • To Look without Seeing
      • Mirar sin ver
    • Ka ya' chhyalhj nhák yelnbán'nha
      • Life Is a Volcano
      • Volcán es la vida
    • Gani yéda xnha'gulha
      • Here I Come, Grandmother
      • Aquí vendré, abuela
    • Tu rad'gulhe
      • An Old Plow
      • Un viejo arado
    • Bidao nhólh yadslhaa llíw
      • A Little Girl Called Freedom
      • La niña Libertad
    • Xhéb gwen guayiá
      • José the Dancer
      • José el danzante
  • 5. Juan Gregorio Regino (Mazatec/mazateco)
    • Chikon nangui
      • The Guardians of the Earth
      • Los Guardianes de la tierra
    • Tatsjejín nga kjabuya
      • Death Is Not Eternal
      • No es eterna la muerte
    • Xingá chi'un
      • The Lord of Thunder
      • El Señor del trueno
    • Nijmi en nima
      • Chants
      • Cantares
  • 6. Heriberto Prado Pereda (Mazatec/mazateco)
    • Ts'e chan
      • Our Calendar
      • El calendario
    • Kjobeyana natjona
      • Our Mother Receives Us
      • Nos recibe nuestra madre
    • Ts'e' ndi sitjo
      • Prayer to the Little Mushrooms
      • Rezo de los honguitos
    • Ts'e' kjuab'ets'atji
      • Prayer to Plead for Others
      • Rezo para rogar por otras personas
    • Ts'e' naNno
      • Green Tobacco Prayer
      • Rezo del piciete (tabaco)
    • Nngo kjuanda b'ile si ts'e' jiso'nde
      • We Give Thanks to the Creator of the World
      • Le damos gracias al Dueño del Mundo
    • Ji na-in si-in kjua
      • You, Faithful Father
      • Tú, Padre fiel
  • 7. Natalio Hernández (Nahuatl/náhuatl)
    • Toselti matinemican
      • Let Us Walk on Our Own
      • Caminemos solos
    • Tecueso titlachixtoque
      • Our Existence Is Sad
      • Es triste nuestra existencia
    • Na noquia ni tlacatl
      • I Also Am a Human Being
      • Yo también soy un ser humano
    • Amo ninequi nimiquis
      • I Do Not Want to Die
      • No quiero morir
    • Yancuic tonaticuicatl
      • Song to the New Sun
      • Canto al nuevo sol
    • Icnocuicatl
      • Song of Orphanhood
      • Canto de orfandad
    • Teotlacxochitl
      • Flower of Dusk
      • Flor del atardecer
    • Nehuatl nimoyoltlatlanilia
      • I Ask Myself
      • Yo me pregunto
    • Itlamiya xochicoscatl
      • Necklace of Flowers
      • Collar de flores
  • 8. Serafín Thaayrohyadi Bermúdez (Ñähñu/ñähñu)
    • Nzöya xui
      • Sir Night
      • Señor noche
    • Tsi ngande zänä
      • Grandma Moon
      • Abuelita Luna
    • Hin gi 'buhsehu
      • You Are Not Alone
      • No están solos
    • Hiti thähi
      • Spinner
      • Hilandera
    • Dro ñätho ñähñu 'ñuhu 'ñuhmu
      • I Am Ñähñu
      • Soy otomí
    • Tihta
      • Temascal
      • Temascal
    • Tsi Mähkitaa Lerma
      • Sacred Father Lerma
      • Sagrado Padre Lerma
  • 9. Briceida Cuevas Cob (Mayan/maya)
    • A na'
      • Your Mother
      • Tu madre
    • U ak'abil tu chibil uj
      • Night of Eclipse
      • Noche de eclipse
    • Je bix chuuk
      • Like Charcoal
      • Como el carbón
    • A yaax tup
      • Your First Earring
      • Tu primer arete
    • Yan a bin xook
      • You Will Go to School
      • Irás a la escuela
    • Jeex uulich
      • Like a Snail
      • Como caracol de tierra
  • 10. Gerardo Can Pat (Mayan/maya)
    • Kin wilik tin wenel
      • I See Her in My Dreams
      • La veo en mis sueños
    • Teech u dzook in tuukul
      • My Final Thought
      • Mi último pensamiento
    • Tii u saas ak'abil abril
      • On a Clear April Night
      • En una noche clara de abril
    • Teech yeten teen
      • You and I
      • Tú y yo
    • Taan a bin
      • You Are Leaving
      • Te vas
    • Xi'iktech utzil
      • I Wish You Well
      • Que te vaya bien
    • K'a'ajsaj
      • Memories
      • Recuerdos
  • 11. Alberto Gómez Pérez (Tzotzil/tzotzil)
    • Chavuk
      • Thunder
      • Trueno
    • Kakavute'
      • Cacaté
      • Cacaté
    • K'epelal
      • Drought
      • Sequía
    • Yalemo'
      • The Waterfall
      • La cascada
    • K'elo me le ixmaltike
      • Watch Over the Corn Fields
      • Cuida los maizales
    • Ja' le kalab kuntikile
      • My Children and Grandchildren
      • Mis hijos y nietos
    • Yibelun k'op
      • Source of the Word
      • Raíz de la palabra
    • Mu jna' jayib k'ak'al
      • Unaware of the Days
      • Ignoro los días
    • K'unk'un ta k'unk'un
      • Little by Little
      • Poco a poco
    • Muk'ul o'ntonal
      • Consolation
      • Consolación
    • Alboto
      • Tell Him
      • Dile
  • Ilikik
    • They Awakened
    • Despertaron
  • 12. Jun Tiburcio (Totonac/totonaco)
    • Jununu
      • Jununu
      • Jununu
    • Tachuwin xa tutunaku
      • Sweet Tutunaku Language
      • Dulce idioma tutunaku
    • Xtantun xakgalh
      • The Talons of the Eagle
      • Garras de águila
    • Li tutunaku
      • Totonaco! Totonaco!
      • ¡Totonaco, totonaco!
    • Mariano Peres Arenal
      • Mariano Pérez Arenal
      • Mariano Pérez Arenal
    • Kaman xalak Chumatlán
      • Chumatec Children
      • Niños chumatecos
    • Taskulanatlon
      • Blessings
      • Bendiciones
    • Jun
      • Hummingbird
      • Colibrí
  • Appendices/Apéndices
    • Appendix A. The Owners, Lords, or Guardians of the Earth and the Water
    • Apéndice A. Los Dueños, Señores o Guardianes de la tierra y el agua
    • Appendix B. Hurricane and Lightning Entities
    • Apéndice B. Entidades del huracán y del rayo
    • Appendix C. Traditional Prayers and Healing Ceremonies
    • Apéndice C. Rezos tradicionales y ceremonias de curación
  • English Glossary
  • Glosario español
  • Sources of the Poems/Fuentes de los poemas

Carlos Montemayor is an award-winning Mexican creative writer, political analyst, and expert on indigenous cultures. He is based in Mexico City.

Donald Frischmann is Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and Researcher at the Universidad de las Américas-Puebla.


“This is a very exciting collection of poetry by leading indigenous authors from a wide variety of first nations located throughout contemporary Mexico. . . . It will be welcomed by Latin Americanists, as well as others interested in contemporary indigenous autonomy and cultural revitalization movements.”
Cynthia Steele, Professor of Comparative Literature and International Studies, University of Washington, Seattle

“This is an ambitious and exciting project. . . . The choices of poets and of individual poems are judicious and balanced, the scholarly mechanism informed, knowledgeable, and helpful.”
Stephen Tapscott, MIT, editor of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology


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