Thursday, June 25, 2009


In the previous blog below, we introduced our readers to INCANTATIONS: Songs, Spells and Images by Mayan Women collected and edited by Ambar Past. (The book, by the way, is available at our website with a 30% introductory discount.) Our trade edition originates from the hand-made and heart-created edition crafted by el Taller Leñateros, a collective of Tzotzil Maya who have joined together in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Best to let them explain themselves. Here is a quote from their website about who they are:
Taller Lenateros is a cultural society, an alliance of Mayan and mestizo women and men, founded in 1975 by the Mexican poet Ambar Past. Among its multiple objectives we ’ ll mention the documentation, praise and dissemination of Amerindian and popular cultural values: song, literature and plastic arts; the rescue of old and endangered techniques such as the extraction of dyes from wild plants; and generating worthwhile and decently-paid employment for women and men who have no studies, no career, no future.
The incantation below, byLoxa Jiménes Lópes, is the first in the collection. Also, posted next to the poem is one of their posters which are for sale on their website. Hopefully, Ambar will add a comment to describe this beautiful work and its significance.


I am a woman, my woman.
I am a girl, my girl.

I am woman, the woman.
I am girl, the girl.

I know how to work.
My feet work.
My hands know.

I am girl my girl.
I am woman my woman.

You made me woman.
You gave me woman.

Woman of the Flowers.
Mother of the Sky.

Woman of the Roses.
Girl of the Roses.

Flowery Woman of the Roses.
Daughter of the Rose in Bloom.

You gave me woman.
You gave me girl.

You took a girl out of me.
You took a woman out of me.

Woman of the Silk Huipil.
Girl of the Silk Huipil.

Woman of the Wool Huipil.
Girl of the Wool Huipil.

I am a girl, my girl.
I am a woman, my woman.

You gave me my spirit.
You gave me my death.
You put my soul inside.

I am the Woman of the Spider Huipil.
I am the Girl of the Spider Huipil.

Woman of the Bromelia Flower.
Woman of the Kilon Flower.

The Moon is full.
The woman in bloom.

My girl, my girl.
My woman, my woman.

Put into my head,
give me in my heart

your three needles,
your three looms,

your gourds,
the tips of your spindles.

I am a girl, my girl.
I am a woman, my woman

—Loxa Jiménes Lópes

1 comment:

AMBAR PAST said...

Carlos Jurado Delmar created this block print for the cover of Taller Leñateros' prize winning literature and art journal La Jicara (called the "most beautiful magazine in Mexico").
--Ambar Past