How Maya women are reclaiming their place in society in contemporary Guatemala: What’s in it for us?

Conference keynote


Miralles Terán De Wilkin, M. 2021. How Maya women are reclaiming their place in society in contemporary Guatemala: What’s in it for us?
AuthorsMiralles Terán De Wilkin, M.
TypeConference keynote
Description

In this paper, through the analysis of the question: 'What’s in it for us?’ posed by a Guatemalan indigenous midwife, during ethnographic research, it is possible to delve in the historical circumstances of injustice, built since colonial times, that still have repercussions in the life of indigenous women in contemporary society.

In Latin America the term indigenous, although widely accepted for its relation with the fight for indigenous rights, has not stopped from being contentious. The term Indian is after all a European invention that not only to defines identity, but whether we belong or not and what are our rights and territory. Furthermore, who defines indigenous identity? The multiple answers for this question are permeated by the asymmetrical relation of power between the one named and the one who names and defines. For the Maya Kakchikel Dr. Aura Cumes (2019), the answer to this permanent process of colonisation, that has its epicentre in the dispossession of the indigenous people, it is a condition of resistance or permanent survival.

By studying the case of the Maya Midwives in Guatemala, through their own voices and in a decolonisation context, covering long historical periods of time. This will allow us to have a better understanding of Maya women’s organisations defining their identity in relation to their knowledge, world-views and philosophies, beyond any type of discrimination social or economic. To learn from their communal organisational and communication strategies, which differ from Western individualism.

KeywordsFeminism; Identity; Post-memory; Ethnography; Culturual resistance; Indigenous communal organisations; Decolonisation
Year2021
ConferenceCanterbury Christ Church University, PGRA Conference 2021
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Deposited11 Nov 2021
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/8z8ww/how-maya-women-are-reclaiming-their-place-in-society-in-contemporary-guatemala-what-s-in-it-for-us

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