Being and Becoming Maya in Chan Kom: Towards Heideggerian Interpretations of Cultural Transformation
Andrew R. Hatala
DOI: 10.4236/aa.2013.31003   PDF    HTML     5,038 Downloads   8,766 Views   Citations


Between the years of 1931 and 1950, Robert Redfield, social science researcher and ethnographer from the University of Chicago, and Alfonso Villa Rojas described subtle and explicit cultural changes within Chan Kom, a Maya village in North-Central Yucatán. Using the theoretical framework developed by Martin Heidegger regarding worlds, being and style, this paper explores the social and cultural changes in the Maya village of Chan Kom in order to deepen our understanding of how cultural change occurs more generally. Through this analysis, several aspects of cultural change emerge.

Share and Cite:

Hatala, A. (2013). Being and Becoming Maya in Chan Kom: Towards Heideggerian Interpretations of Cultural Transformation. Advances in Anthropology, 3, 16-22. doi: 10.4236/aa.2013.31003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Coe, M. D. (1999). The Maya. New York, NY: Thames and Hudson Ltd.
[2] Durkheim, E. (1912). The elementary forms of religious life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[3] Geertz, C. (1973). The interpretations of Cultures. New York, NY: Basic Books.
[4] Good, B. (1994). Medicine, rationality, and experience: An anthropological perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[5] Hatala, A. R. (2008). Spirituality and aboriginal mental health. Advances in Mind Body Medicine, 23, 6-12.
[6] Hatala, R. A. (2010). Frankl & Freud: Friend or foe? Towards cultural & developmental perspectives of theoretical ideologies. Psychology & Society, 3, 1-25
[7] Hatala, R. A., & Desjardins, M. (2010). The spirit messenger and the traditional exemplar: Two figures of the elder among plains cree communities. Canadian Journal of Native Studies, 30, 49-81.
[8] Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and time. In J. Macquarrie, & E. Robinson, (Trans.), New York, NY: Harper & Row.
[9] Heidegger, M. (1971). The origin of the work of art. In A. Hofstadter (Trans.), Poetry, language, thought, New York, NY: Harper & Row.
[10] James, W. (1961). The varieties of religious experience: A study in human nature. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
[11] Kahn, H. E. (2006). Seeing and being seen: The Q’eqchi Maya of Livingston, Guatemala and beyond. Austin: University of Texas Press.
[12] Keesing, R. (1990). Theories of culture revisited. Canberra Anthropology, 13, 46-60. doi:10.1080/03149099009508482
[13] Little, W. (2004). Mayas in the marketplace: Tourism, globalization, and cultural identity. Austin: University of Texas Press.
[14] Maurer, K. (1997). Ancient images, modern visions: Representations of Maya identity in Belize. PhD dissertation, Los Angeles: University of California.
[15] Molesky-Poz, J. (2006). Contemporary Maya spirituality: The ancient ways are not lost. Austin: University of Texas Press.
[16] Redfield, R. (1950). A village that chose progress. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
[17] Redfield, R., & Rojas, A., V. (1934). Chan Kom: A Maya village. Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution of Washington.
[18] Taylor, C. (1979). Interpretation and the sciences of man. In P. Rainbow, & W. Sullivan (Eds.), Interpretive social science, Berkley: University of California Press.
[19] Waldram, J., Cal, V., & Maquin, P. (2009). The Q’eqchi Healer’s Association of Belize: An endogenous movement in heritage preservation and management. Heritage Management, 2, 35-54.
[20] Watanabe, J. (1992). Maya saints and souls in a changing world. Austin: University of Texas Press.
[21] Watanabe, J., & Fischer, E. (2004). Pluralizing ethnography: Comparison and representation in Maya cultures, histories, and identities. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press.
[22] Thompson, E. J. (1970). Maya history and religion. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.