«Give us a yellow minister, a white minister»: color symbolism in Maya-Poqomchi ceremonial language

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Research fellow
Affiliation: Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Russian Federation
Journal nameLatin America
EditionIssue 10

Ceremonial discourse is a specific speech genre, within which spiritual guides make petitions to their divine authorities and landscape spirits during traditional offering rituals. Symbolic use of color terms in the Poqomchi’ (Mayan language family, Guatemala) ceremonial speech is addressed in this paper. It considers the figurative meaning of the adjectives that denote four “basic” colors in the indigenous cultures of Mesoamerica: white, yellow, red and black.

KeywordsPoqomchi’, Maya, ritual discourse, color symbolism, Guatemala
Publication date26.10.2018
Number of characters512
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