The Nan Pa’ch ceremony of Guatemala

“La Paach” is a word derived from pre-Hispanic origins of Guatemala. It is currently listed among the Urgent Safeguarding list since 2013. The four main essential components to the Nan Pa’ch ceremony of Guatemala are the following: The lords of the Pagon, The Parlimentos or God mothers, Assembly of elders, and the dance of the Paach. The ceremony is a corn-veneration ritual held in San Pedro Sacatepéquez, San Marcos in Guatemala for the purpose of good harvest. The ritual highlights the close connections that the people of San Pedros have with nature. The gatherers and participants pray in the Mam language as well as the ceremonial corncobs. The participants are mainly older farmers, both men and women who are pillars of their community. The Paach ceremony strengthens the identity of the community of San Pedro and its knowledge and respect for nature and its conservation. The transmission process is both oral and practical, with a group leader instructing new members at workshops and children accompanying their grandparents during the ceremony. In recent years, the Paach ceremony has decreased in frequency, with some young people seeing it as irrelevant, while economic insecurity has caused some bearers to withdraw from the practice. Furthermore, the advanced age of the elders, combined with diminished transmission, might result in the disappearance of this cultural expression. References: ICH Unesco, Wikipedia


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