PRO ARTE MAYA Continued
Some questions you may have about Mayan arts and crafts and the educational role of Pro Arte Maya...
the Maya need their crafts in the twenty first century?
Image from Pro Arte Coloring Book byMaryln Anderson. Click on photo for enlargement.
In some schools we see Maya children learning computer skills, which is entirely appropriate. But a primary goal of Pro Arte Maya is to help give Maya children the opportunity learn about and practice their traditional arts and crafts that are a central part of their cultural heritage. We feel that the experience of working with their hands and with natural materials from their environment allows them to experience a connection with nature, and a reverence for the gifts of Mother Earth. These aspects of the Maya ethos can be learned through children working with traditional crafts.
In several books written fifty or more years ago, the writers predicted that the Maya people would be enveloped by the industrial age and eventually lose their identity along with their customs and crafts. The resilience of the Maya in the twenty first century belies this prediction. But education has a role in helping traditional arts retain their role as living arts not only for export or for sale to tourists
is the role of arts and crafts in the lives of Maya children?
can a coloring book help children to understand about Maya arts?
is it important to translate the coloring book into Mayan languages?
Thus, respect for and use of traditional Mayan languages, which have richness and nuances of expression apart from Spanish, are still other important goals of Pro Arte Maya. Throughout the world, many indigenous languages are disappearing. By providing a book with text in Mayan languages, we help, even if in a small way, to encourage their continued use. Teachers using the coloring book in Consejo Maya bilingual schools are pleased to have an additional educational resource in their Maya language.
can a coloring book, used with a related educational program, connect
the arts and crafts traditions to issues of preserving the environment
Discussion of arts and crafts in relation to the environment and consumerism takes on additional importance because, increasingly, ecological craft items made from natural materials are replaced by items made of plastic and imported clothing takes the place of hand woven traditional clothing.
Pro Arte Maya:
Tax-deductable contributions can be made to our fiscal sponsor, Rights Action, an organization doing rights-based community development work with offices in Washington D.C., Toronto, and Guatemala City. Checks should be made out to: Rights Action, with Pro Arte Maya on the For line.
mail Pro Arte Maya donations
All work Copyright © 2001-2006 by Marilyn Anderson.