Balancing the World: Contemporary Maya ajq’ijab in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

- What is an ajq’ij?Creating a projectThe ajq’ijab as presented by researchersGuatemalan researchMisrepresentationInsiders from outsideWhat is an ajq’ij?- Fieldwork in GuatemalaGuatemala and the MayaLanguagesA violent historyChristianity and Maya spiritualityCollecting dataHiring an assistantManuel’s groupConducting interviewsThe intervieweesPresenting dataTranscription, sorting and translationFieldwork in Guatemala- Common termsMaya spiritualityGod and the sacredOther names for the ajq’ijabAjq’ij meaning ‘natural talent’VisitorsCommon terms- The intermediaryImportant conceptsSpiritual energies: nahualesDoes that mean there are 20 nahuales?Their date of birth ?A part of the universe - holism and immanenceDualism, balance and a love of natureThankfulnessAncestorsOther conceptsPaymentVoluntary offeringsFixed pricesChristianity and Maya spiritualityChristianity as a bad influenceOne has to choose one or the otherThe intermediary- Helping visitorsHow some people work as ajq’ijabFriends and strangersWhy people visitSickness and other problemsGiving thanks and getting blessingsRites of passageFinding a solutionDivinationGuidance and counsellingInterpreting signsSolving problems spirituallyReceiving crossesTalking to spiritsHelping visitors- Gifts and burdensNon-visitor work - life and responsibilitiesKeeping days, keeping traditionGifts for the worldSpiritual spousesProblems of practiseBearing the burdenHostility and vandalismMisinterpretation and commercialisationGifts and burdens- The right person for the jobRequirementsThe right nahual and numberMaya culture and ethnicitySpeaking a Mayan languageBeing chosenBecoming an ajq’ij without being chosenSignsIllnessProblems and bad luckOther signsInheritanceThe right person for the job- ReceivingReceiving- Comparative contextsThe context of similar researchMy group of ajq’ijab compared to Hart’s group of Maya PriestsThe context of categories within the study of religionLevels of analysisReligious virtuosos and the promise of salvationThe temporal contextJaloj-K’exoj as a continuous conceptThe context of one or several religious systemsBricolage, belt and bracesMaya converts and their views on other religionsThe context of tourism in contemporary GuatemalaComparative contexts- Balancing the worldWhy does an ajq’ij do her or his work?How does an ajq’ij do her or his work?Why does one become an ajq’ij?How does one become an ajq’ij?Balancing the world
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