Abstract

Abstract:

We begin with a Totonac story of a droplet of water that initiates a rainstorm by being the first to leap from its cloud in order to save a parched cornfield below. And we argue that the state of the field in relation to Indigenous literacy and literatures requires similar acts of call-and-response. Those who write in Indigenous languages tend to the lands and communities around them without being intimidated by the global market's calculations of long odds against the survival of their languages, non-GMO seeds, and cultures. We discuss our own background of collaboration via research into the first non-Anglo students who attended Roanoke College (in Salem, Virginia) from the 1870s to the 1890s: thirtyfour students from the Choctaw Nation and five students from Mexico's Gulf state of Veracruz. We propose a study of Gulf cultures and writing across national and linguistic borders, beginning with considerations of what links writers such as LeAnne Howe (Choctaw Nation) and the Yucatec Maya poet Feliciano Sánchez Chan. And we introduce readers of Native South to our collaborative work on a documentary film with a group of Yucatec Maya poets writing and publishing out of Mérida's Academia de Lengua Maya (Academy of the Maya Language). This film, Yum Cháak (Sacred rain), draws from Yucatec poets' literary, linguistic, and cultural activism to move in a cloud of collaborative agency across the Yucatán Peninsula and across the Gulf and Rio Grande.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2152-4025
Print ISSN
1943-2569
Pages
pp. 99-106
Launched on MUSE
2019-12-21
Open Access
No
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