Manuel Chavajay
Tz’ikin
© Manuel Chavajay, Tz'ikin (2020), Foto: Josue Samol

    Maya Tz’utujil artist Manuel Chavajay depicts Tz’ikin, one of the twenty nahuales of the Mesoamerican cosmology, which are animal spirit counterparts of the humans for whom they function as protectors. The character carries a gold ingot, representing how the Traditional Territories of the Maya are seen by the West as a place for the accumulation of capital based on extractive logics, through the exploitation of people and natural resources. The Tz’utujil word “Ru k’ayewaal,” which appears at the bottom of the work, can be translated as “being in trouble because of an imposed, violent situation.”

    Manuel Chavajay, born in San Pedro La Laguna (Guatemala) in 1982, lives and works in San Pedro La Laguna

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