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What’s a weekend without yibel jme’tik banamil?

2 April 2011

Well-known (ok, well-known in parts of Chiapas) group Yibel jme’tik banamil is the subject of the first ever rock-n-roll Tsotsil (or Tzotzil)  language documentary.

The 30-minute film (oddly enough, with a Spanish-language title, “Voces de Hoy”) — produced under the auspices of the Programa Apoyo a Proyectos de Comunicación Indígena of the Comisión Nacional para el Desarrollo de los Pueblos Indígenas — includes interviews with the three Chamula musicians (Valeriano Gómez, Delfino and Mateo Heredia) who work with two from Zinacantán, (Fredy Vicente and Juan Javier Pérez) to create a musical experience that preserves the traditions of both communities, while seeking to reinvigorate the tsosil traditions.

One factor that has allowed Mayan communities to endure has been their ability to incorporate “foreign” influences without losing their communal identity.  Much as their ancestors incorporated harps and guitars, as well as the 17th century Spanish peasant clothing into the tsosil culture, electric guitars, drums and light-shows are being indigenized… on tsosil terms

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