To view this page in another language, please click here:

Victor Montejo


To view IPL in Mayan, please click here:

To view Mexico in Mayan, please click here:

To view Guatemala in Mayan, please click here:

Victor Montejo is a Jakaltek Maya originally from Guatemala. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1993 from the University of Connecticut, USA. Victor Montejo is currently a Professor of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis. His academic interest focuses on indigenous people of Mesoamerica and have worked extensively on Latin American diaspora, human rights, migration and transnationalism, comparative studies, ethnicity, indigenous worldviews and native knowledge, and indigenous literatures.

Current projects: Indigenous community development, rural development, sustainable development, cultural/economic/political self-determination, cultural resource management, poverty alleviation strategies. Vicror Montejo has been a columnist for a national newspaper in Guatemala and obtained First Honorable Mention for Best Column in Native Americas, Cornell University.

Native American Journalists Association. In 2000, his Voices from Exile: Violence and Survival in Modern Maya History obtained the National Award: Race, Ethnicity and Politics Award, American Political Science Association, for Washington D.C. In 2003, Victor Montejo obtained a Fulbright Scholars Award, Research and teaching in Guatemala, Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Central America.

Bak'tun 13 Festival

Mayan Civilization

Mayan Life

Mayan Rabbit Stories

Maya of Guatemala


Frontera de la Palabra

Palabra Conjurada - First Mayan Book on the Internet

in English , Spanish, Tzeltal, Tzotzil & Chol)

Second Mayan Book on the Internet

Ti slajebalxa lajele - Tzotzil

Third Mayan Book on the Internet

Sab xojob - Tzeltal

Fourth Mayan Book on the Internet

Jich ya xk'ayin te lajele - Chol

Fifth Mayan Book on the Internet

Nichim vayichetik - Tzotzil

Sixth Mayan Book on the Internet

Sk'op Ajawetik - Tzeltal

Seventh Mayan Book on the Internet

Sbel sjol yo'nton ik'- Tzotzil

Eighth Mayan Book on the Internet

Sakubel k'inal jachwinik - Lacandona

Ninth Mayan Book on the Internet

Spisil k'atbuj - Tzeltal

Books by Mayan Authors (en Espanol)

Anos de Carnaval

Asi canta la merte

DiS Fra~cEs

La aurora lacandona

Memoria del viento

Nudo de Serpientes

Orquidea de suenos

Tiempo a contrapunto

Tierra de dioses

Tiro de Gracia

La ultima muerte

Palabra de Ajawes

Todo cambio

Vapor de luz

December 21, 2012, signals the much-anticipated passing of the "13 B'ak'tun" in the ancient American indigenous system of time keeping. As we approach the Mayan Calendar day that marks the turn of eras, Dr. Victor Montejo offers a fascinating presentation on the deep meaning of millennial Maya culture and history from the perspective of a noted Native scholar and author.

Victor Montejo is a Jakaltek Maya originally from Guatemala. Previously a professor and chair of the Native American Studies Department at the University of California, Davis, Dr. Montejo now lives in Guatemala. He was formerly Minister of Peace in the Guatemalan Republic. Montejo also served as a member of the Guatemalan National Congress from 2004 to 2008. An internationally recognized author, Montejo's major publications include Testimony: Death of a Guatemalan Village; Voices from Exile: Violence and Survival in Modern Maya History; Maya Intellectual Renaissance: Critical Essays on Identity, Representation and Leadership; Popol Vuh: Sacred Book of the Mayas; and Q'anil: Man of Lightning. His current projects focus on indigenous migration and transnationalism, as well as in developing a curriculum in Native knowledge and epistemology in his new manuscript, Mayalogue: An Interactionist Theory of Indigenous Cultures.

Sculpted Stones (Piedras Labradas)

"Lost in the jungle---
several millennia
of history,
and forgotten by men---
shining millennia
of victory.

The Maya and their glyphs
stand as one
like fathers and sons
measuring the present
in the easy-going eyes
of the tourist
who stands by a stele
in Tikal stroking
a round glyph
which bares its teeth
to the onlookers
as if saying:

'After two thousand years,
we're still on our feet
among the silken
of time."

This is what the future archeologist will say
whose contemporaries
happily measure ancient skulls
and rejoice in uncovering a new tomb

While the same day, nearby,
new graves are opened by the hundreds
filled with poor campesinos, Maya
who have fallen on top of the hieroglyphs.

This collection of poetry comprises twenty-six poems by Victor Montejo of the Jakaltek Maya of Guatemala. They vividly express the values of traditional Mayan culture, while at the same time exposing the brutal 30 year war of extermination which his people have endured.

Victor weaves a story of how it feels to live in exile, using both comedy and scathing irony. He describes the clash of cultures with lyric intensity. He, like Rigoberta Menchu, knows first-hand the brutality of being Indian in the land of his ancestors.

At the present time Victor is teaching anthropology in the United States. Thanks to his publisher (Curbstone Press) I am able to share with you some of his beautiful work.

Interrogation by the Ancestors/Remembrance

"We, their descendants,
have been duped
so many times
by foreigners
who've specialized
in confounding
and jumbling up our histories.

We can neither take it lightly
nor accept it
because we,
the native peoples,
are the ones they disfigure.

Just think:

What can we say
to the ancients?"

Yet today we Maya
remain hushed up
and have even forgotten the message
that might inspire us to break the silence.

That's why if our ancestors came back to life
they'd give us thirteen lashes
to cure the amnesia of centuries
which has made us forget our names.

First Congress of Indigenous Literatures of the Americas

Compiled by: Glenn Welker

Indigenous Peoples' Literature Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature

Compiled by: Glenn Welker

Copyright @ 1993-2016

This site has been accessed 10,000,000 times since February 8, 1996.