Friday, April 17, 2009

TECUN UMAN - Quetzaltenango -

Tecún-Umán, el de las torres verdes, 
el de las altas torres verdes, verdes, 
el de las torres verdes, verdes, verdes... 

Tecún-Umán, el de las plumas verdes, 
el de las largas plumas verdes, verdes,
el de las plumas verdes, verdes, verdes...

Tecún-Umán, the one of the green towers,
the one of the tall green, green, towers
the one of the green, green, green, towers...

Tecún-Umán, the one of the green feathers,
The one of the long green, green, feathers
the one of the green, green, green, feathers....

An excerpt from Tecún Umán, written by Miguel Angel Asturias, along with Rigoberta Menchú, a Guatemalan Nobel Price Winner.

I have written about the legend of Tecún Umán and the quetzal previously but didn't have these pictures.  On Holy Monday we drove to Quetzaltenango, that is a 3.5 hour drive, to give a ride to our friend Flora who in exchange offered us a wonderful lunch with her family (more on that in another post).

In Quetzaltenango we stopped to take a  picture of the Tecún Umán monument recently relocated to a new boulevard. I felt like a complete tourist when I got back on the car and Flora said , 'you can also take a picture of Tecun Umán's rock, it is just down the street from my house right in front of the school and if you want we can even go to the cave of Tecún Umán which is about a 45 minute walk up the mountain'.

Flora was born and raised in Chuicavioc a small town on the skirts of Volcán Santa María (the 4th tallest in Guatemala). As explained by Flora, this rock  has been identified by the local people from generation after generation as the rock were Tecun Umán fought and the cave (which I'll visit another day) where he lived and where apparently you can see his footprints. As much as it sounds like a tourist trap you have to give some credit to it, because it is mostly cherished by the Mayan community and there is nobody trying to make money out of it. 

When we got to Chuicavioc, a 35 minute drive from the city of Quetzaltenango in a bumpy dirt road, we found the rock identified with a plaque. The rock is sadly painted with political campaign colors. In the country side it is common practice for political parties to paint rocks with their campaign message and they didn't stop even at Tecún Umán's rock. 

The plaque reads "Central American call to the four winds that here I defended your land and your home TECUN UMAN".


Nancy said...

Este año entrevisté a un amigo historiador quien me contó la interesante historia de cómo Tecún Umán se convirtió en héroe nacional. Lo publiqué en la Prensa Libre el 20 de febrero, por si te interesa.
Voy a tener que ir a Xela uno de estos días. Ha cambiado tanto...

Kimberly said...

Aeson is from Quetzaltenango. Would you mind sending me some hi-res pics so that I can include them in his life book? I wanted so badly to go there, but was advised against it, until it was too late and then I just ran out of time. I would be so very grateful, but completely understand if you'd prefer not sharing them. I love your blog!!!

Guatemalan Genes said...

Nancy! Mil gracias ya lo lei, puedo traducirlo y ponerlo en el blog por supuesto citando la fuente y el autor??

Kimberly, I wrote you to see if that was a good email for the pictures.

Nancy said...

Hola Cinthya, por supuesto Ya no trabajo allí pero la cita es válida.
Feliz semana también para ti.