COUNTING IN CHOL:
The language Chol uses a vigesimal (base-20) counting system. Here are the numerals for 1–20:
Jun 1 Junlujun 11
Cha’ 2 Lajchän 12
Ux 3 Uxlujun 13
Chän 4 Chänlujun 14
Jo’ 5 Jo’lujun 15
Wäk 6 Wäklujun 16
Wuk 7 Wuklujun 17
Waxäk 8 Waxäklujun 18
Bolon 9 Bolonlujum 19
Lujun 10 Junk’al 20
In our language Chol, when we count things the form of the number must change depending on the form of the objects being counted, for example depending on whether they are round, long, standing; whether the thing being counted is an person or an animal, as in the following examples:
a tree (standing) = juñtyejk tye’
a woman (standing) = juñtyikil lakña’
a dog (crouched) = juñkojty ts’i’
a pineaplle (round) = juñpijty pajch’
a tortilla = juñk’ej waj
a plate (round) = juñwejch ch’ejew
a bunch of bananas (hanging) = juñpajl ja’as
Chajk’: The word means “lightning”, also known as the ña’al ja’al ‘mother of the rain’. In some Ch’ol communities it can punish people who break the sacred rules between man and nature, that is, if a person extracts a resource without the permission of the yum pañämil ‘God of nature’ or ‘Owner of nature’ the chajk’ is guided towards these people with its fire and ax. In some cases it causes instant death, or it simply gives them a warning and a little scare. To get people to heal quickly from shock it is necessary that they be treated with the ax that the bolt left behind.
Mayordomos walking to the church.
Mayordomos (xch’ujeñalob) are men who are in charge of sponsoring the fiestas for our Father Jesús and our Mother the Virgin of Gudalupe, along with other Catholic saints worshipped in each community. Each mayordomo is in charge of one fiesta per year, and then is replaced by someone else, and so on it continues each year. Before, only elders were responsible for these positions (cargos), but now young people and women can also take part, in part because there are now fewer people willing to take on this responsibility.
My name is Morelia Irene Vazquez Martinez. I’m a speaker of Ch’ol, and I’m originally from Campanario in the municipality of Tila, Chiapas. Right now I’m studying in the Tecnológico Superior university in Macuspana, Tabasco. I’ve participated in different Ch’ol linguistics projects doing translations, transcriptions, and data collection, among other things. I really like doing this work and I’m happy to be working with other people who also love our language Ch’ol. 🙂
Women decorating candles.
In our communities there are special traditions, like these women who dedicate themselves to decorating candles that will be used bu the mayordomos in the community of Nueva Esperanza in Tila.
My name is Matilde Vázquez, I’m originally from the community of El Campanario, in the municipality of Tila. I studied social anthropology at the Universidad Autonoma of Chiapas. I live in San Cristobal de Las Casas. I have written a lot in our language Chol, and I’ve also done translations from Spanish to Chol during the time when I worked at CELALI.
On February 16th, Juan Jesús Vázquez Álvarez gave a talk titled “Indigenous Languages in Educational Policies” in San Cristóbal de Las Casas as part of the Symposium: Las lenguas indígenas y los desafíos en el Siglo XXI, organized by INALI and the Asociación Indígena Académica. The event emphasized the importance of continuing to use indigenous languages in a variety of contexts in order to continue strengthening these languages.
On March 5th 2018 we had the second workshop of the National Geographic-funded Ch’ol documentation project. The event took place at the Unidad Académica Multidisciplinaria Yajalón, part of the Universidad Intercultural of Chiapas (UNICH). Fifteen students of the Language and Culture BA program participated in the workshop.
Dr. Juan and Dr. Bernabé
Morelia, Juan and Bernabé
Morelia explaining how to use the recorder