334 pages. Softcover. Brand new book. GUATEMALA. Eyewitness accounts of Maya rites and rituals. Enlivened with 102 photographs and 50 figures and maps, Shamans, Witches, and Maya Priests explores the "old ways" that still prevail in the Q'anjob'al, Akatek, and Chuj communities of the remote northwestern Cuchumatán Mountains. Krystyna Deuss provides vivid descriptions and images of the traditional rites and rituals she witnessed during fifteen years of fieldwork. These sacred moments include blood sacrifices for the good of the community and private shamanic rituals&emdash; as well as black magic. Deuss also includes a selection of the prayers she recorded. Krystyna Deuss founded the Guatemalan Maya Centre in 1990 and spends five months each year in Guatemala continuing her research into the customs of the Highland Maya. She is the author of Indian Costumes from Guatemala. "An outstanding contribution to the field of ethnographic studies in highland Guatemala. Not only is it an informed and insightful account of her work among the Maya Prayersayers in the Cuchumatanes region of Guatemala, but it is also a truly great read&emdash; an evocative portrait of Maya traditionalists attempting to maintain the practice of their ancient faith in the face of remarkably trying circumstances. Many of the ceremonies she describes have already ceased to be performed, and others are in imminent danger of disappearing forever. This book is therefore, in some cases, the last eyewitness account of traditional rituals that had survived for centuries." &emdash; Allen J. Christenson, translator of Popul Vuh: The Sacred Book of the Maya "A comprehensive study of a little-known area of Guatemala, this book is an invaluable contribution to Maya studies. The author's attention to ethnographic detail is revealed through the text, diagrams, and the astonishing photographs, which set a new standard for documentation. At the same time, the succinct style of writing assures the accessibility of the book to nonspecialists."&emdash; Matthew G. Looper, coauthor of The New Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs, Volume 1: The Classic Period Inscriptions (Key Words: Central Ameica, Latin America, Guatemala, Mayan Civilization, Native Religion, Krystyna Deuss).
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