In June and July, we organized two workshops, one in Tumbalá and the other in San Miguel. In Tumbalá, the workshop was on the language and culture of the Mayan people, with a special focus on Ch’ol (June 20th). The organizers were Carol-Rose Little (Cornell University), Esteban Mirón (Berkeley) Morelia Vázquez Martínez (ITSM), and Silvestre Gómez Jiménez (CELALI). The workshop took place in the Tumbalá cultural center, whose director is Juana Karen Peñate Montejo. Members of the cultural center, including students and teachers, attended the workshop. Esteban talked about the archaeology of the Maya people of Palenque. Carol-Rose and Morelia presented on what linguists do as well as the importance of preserving languages. Silvestre ended with some advice on how to continue preserving the Ch’ol language. At the end of the workshop, participants ate tamales prepared locally and listened to some marimba music. This workshop was possible thanks to funding from Engaged Cornell and Berkeley.
The cultural center in Tumbalá
Esteban talking about Mayan archaeology
On July 4th and July 5th, Morelia and Carol-Rose gave two Ch’ol writing workshops in the local secondary school in San Miguel. This workshop was attended by 120 students. On the first day, they went over the Ch’ol alphabet, paying special attention to how to write glottalized consonants (C’) and the sixth vowel in Ch’ol (ä). On the second day, students had a spelling quiz and then wrote down their own stories about daily life, which they then shared with the class. This workshop was possible thanks to funding from Engaged Cornell.
Morelia teaching the Ch’ol writing system
The secondary school in San Miguel
On January 7th, 2019, Morelia Vázquez Martínez led a workshop on how to use ELAN, a transcription program for linguists. Participants were CELALI employees who work with various languages of Chiapas. This program helps users transcribe and translate audio and video. This workshop was funded through an Engaged Opportunity grant from Engaged Cornell.
Morelia showing participants how to use ELAN
Members of the Ch’ol documentation project convened June 7th and 8th at CIESAS-Sureste in San Cristóbal de las Casas for a workshop focused on file management and transcription, organized by Juan Jesús Vázquez Álvarez and Jessica Coon, and with ELAN and audio file editing tutorials by Justin Royer and Sandra Cruz Gómez.
the group at work transcribing
Groups traveled from Oxolotán Tabasco (led by Nicolás Arcos López) and Yajalón, Chiapas (led by Bernabé Vázquez Sánchez). Altogether, they had collected more than 30 hours of Ch’ol recordings during the first phase of the project. During phase 2, they will select their favorite narratives to transcribe and translate. At the end, all materials will be uploaded to the Archive of Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA).
Workshop 2 participants, back row: Bernabé Vázquez Sánchez, Juan Jesús Vázquez Álvarez, Sandra Cruz Gómez, Nicolás Arcos López, Félix López López, Jessica Coon, Justin Royer, Morelia Vázquez Martínez Front row: Patricia López Vázquez, Nilda Gúzman López, Lourdes Méndez Sánchez, Matilde Vázquez Vázquez
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
We had a great first workshop in Oxolotán last week, with active participation from students in the Universidad Intercultural’s Lengua y Cultura program. The university’s article, and more pictures from the event, can be found here. We’re looking forward to continuing the collaboration!
UIET article on workshop
Our first workshop on Ch’ol documentation is coming up! We’ll be in Oxolotán on February 9th at the Universidad Intercultural de Tabasco. The workshop is open and will introduce participants to the motivation and goals of language documentation, along with recording basics. Stay tuned for a similar workshop in Yajalón, Chiapas!