Photo of Mam Mayan men in civil patrol training. Todos Santos village in Guatemala's Western Highlands, Sierra De Los Cuchumatanes, District of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, Central America.
Todos Santos Cuchumatan is located within the Department of Huehuetenango in northwest Guatemala. The village lies at an elevation of approximately 2500 meters in the Cuchumatan Mountains. The Maya Indians of Todos Santos are Mam speakers and have lived in the area since long before the Spanish conquest (Sitler 1999). Traditionally, the Mam of Todos Santos are patriarchal with strong ties among the extended family (Oakes 1951). The village of Todos Santos is separated into eight wards and has a number of governing civil positions. Officials gain their position through election and serve for a term of one year. Unlike the women, most of the Maya men of Todos Santos speak Spanish in addition to their native tongue.
Due to the elevation of their village, the people subsist on a somewhat vertical economy. They grow corn and beans at lower elevations and cultivate potatoes at higher elevations. They also herd sheep, a source of meat as well as wool. On market day, families hike four to five hours to the center of Huehuetenango (Sitler 1999). There they sell produce and crafts. At the market, Todosanteros are able to purchase other crops with which to supplement their diet, such as bananas and coffee. Also, women sell their carefully manufactured huipils (known as klboj in Mam) and the men sell their elaborately crocheted handbags (pa' in Mam).
Most of the Mam of Todos Santos Cuchumatan consider themselves to be Catholic, however today about one third of the native population belongs to recently formed Protestant denominations (Sitler 1999). Despite the influence of Christianity, whether Catholicism or Protestantism, traditional aspects of Maya cosmology permeate their lives. For instance, much religious responsibility and influen
Location of picture - Todos Santos Cuchumatanes Huehuetenango Guatemala
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