Communication Practices Of The Mopan Maya: A Rhetorical Analysis

Lydia Loskot , Galen University, Belize

This research seeks to challenge the negative stereotype of the Maya as only partially literate. It examines how participants in an indigenous Maya community communicate effectively through multiple modalities which have been disregarded or, at best, glossed over. The rhetorical and literacy practices of the community are viewed as a multifaceted nexus informed by historical events, dominant ideologies, and discourse patterns. Based upon an ethnographic case study conducted during the summer of 2004 and the fall of 2005, this presentation explores the literacy practices and other communicative strategies employed in a Mopan Maya village of Belize. More specifically, this research uses the Intercultural Rhetorical toggle of Individualism versus Communitarianism and a Feminist Perspective to analyze and discuss rites of passage, community collaborations, and their implications for Mopan Maya identity. In so doing, this research adds to and complicates current representations of the Maya within Belize and the region.

Belize, Literacy, Maya, Representation, Rhetorical Practices


Vol 4 2015 Research Reports In Belizean History and Anthropology