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The Ch′orti′ Maya AreaPast and Present$
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Brent Metz, Cameron L. McNeil, and Kerry M. Hull

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813033310

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813033310.001.0001

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Ajk′opot Gente: The Unrecognized Keepers of Maya Plant Lore

Ajk′opot Gente: The Unrecognized Keepers of Maya Plant Lore

(p.198) 15 Ajk′opot Gente: The Unrecognized Keepers of Maya Plant Lore
The Ch′orti′ Maya Area

Johanna Kufer

University Press of Florida

This chapter examines the concept of Ajk'opot gente, the unrecognized keeper of plant lore in Ch'orti' Maya. The findings indicate that though Ch'orti' language is nowadays very rarely spoken in the rural communities of Camotán, Guatemala, many plant-related cultural elements have disappeared to a far lesser degree than the language in this municipio and in many cases Ch'orti' plant names are the last remnants of an otherwise extinct linguistic tradition. This chapter discusses the notion that the Ch'orti' do not know much about plants because they have “already lost their culture”.

Keywords:   Ajk'opot gente, plant lore, Ch'orti' Maya, plant names, linguistic tradition, Camotán, Guatemala

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