16 | SEP | 2019
Mayan writer becomes first woman to win Native Literature of America Award
The award will be presented in Guadalajara’s International Book Fair – Photo: Taken from Mexico’s Culture Ministry’s Twitter account

Mayan writer becomes first woman to win Native Literature of America Award

11/09/2019
21:22
EFE
Mexico City
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The award recognizes and endorses literary creation of writers of indigenous languages

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Mexican writer of Mayan origin, Marisol Ceh Moo, has become the first woman to win the Native Literature of America Award 2019 (PLIA) due to her reappraisal of native languages.

The narrator “provides a very important benefit to Mexican indigenous languages, in addition to granting reevaluating support to the languages of America’s native peoples,” asserted the spokesman of the jury in a news conference in Guadalajara, Jalisco.

The prize, consisting of MXN $300,000 and presented in Guadalajara’s International Book Fair (FIL), the most important in Latin America, recognizes and endorses the literary creation of writers of indigenous languages.

Ceh Moo said she felt honored to win what she considers “America’s Nobel Prize” for Indigenous languages, which is useful to “strengthen literature” in these languages all around the world.

“It settles my feet on the ground with greater strength; it makes me feel how important it is to remember my origins, my land, and my people; it is addressing a literature that is rooted in the knowledge of our parents and grandparents.”
 

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The writer asserted that being the first woman to win this prize is “a responsibility” for being born a woman, indigenous, and poor “is a sin, a difficult and discriminatory social situation.”

“I think we are in a process of transformation for women and fighting for our objectives, our people, our culture, and our thoughts. [In an environment where] it has been complicated to transit because men have prevailed in literary aspects,” she pointed out.

The winner, born in 1978 in Calotmul, is a poet, essayist, narrator, and chronicler of the Mayan indigenous language who studied in bilingual intercultural education.

In addition, she is the author of three books that have been translated to Greek, English, German, and Japanese.

She has won the “Alfredo Barrera Vásquez” Award and the State Prize for Narrative in Mayan Language “Domingo Dzul Poot,” among others.
 

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Gabriel Pacheco, president of the Interinstitutional Committee of the award, revealed that this year, 26 texts of indigenous writers representing 17 native languages from Ecuador, Colombia, Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, and Mexico applied for the prize.

The award is organized by the University of Guadalajara, the National Institute of Indigenous Languages, and the Culture Ministry, and will be presented next December 6th during the FIL.
 

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