Bunzel, Ruth Leah, 1898-1990. Chichicastenango: a Guatemalan village

Table of Contents

Publication Information


Chapter One: Economic Life


Land Tenure



Houses And Housebuilding








Economics Of Religion

Economic Attitudes

Chapter Two: Family Life

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Parents And Children

Children 9

Early Childhood


Growing Up


Ceremonies Of Marriage

Husbands And Wives

Marriage Ideals


The Breakup Of The Family

Father And Son

Sickness And Its Cure


Chapter Three: Government


Church And State

The Cofradías

The Civil Hierarchy

Local Organization

The Principales

The Theory And Practice Of Government

Chapter Four: Fiestas

Fiesta Of Maria Del Rosario (october 2–5, 1930)

Todos Los Santos

Holy Week

Ritual In The Cofradía Of San Sebastian

I. The Ceremony Of The Surrender Of Office. 13

Ii. The Retreat 34 - Change Of Personnel

Iii. The New Alcaldes Begin Their Duties

Ritual Patterns


Chapter Five: Man's Fate

The Powers

The Ancestors

The Nagual

The Days

Quiché List Of Days


Sin And Penance

Sorcery And Protection

Ritual Patterns

Chapter Six: Rituals In Text Translations


No. 1. General Ceremony Of Thanksgiving

No. 2. Commemoration Of The Dead

No. 3. Ceremony For Restoration Of Lost Money

No. 4. For Release From One's Own Evil Thoughts

No. 5. To Ask Pardon At Beginning Some Undertaking

No. 6. The Invocation Of The Destiny Animal

No. 7. The Initiation Of A Chuchqajau 21

No. 8. Prayer To Placate The Idols

No. 9. For Protection After Committing A Minor Theft

No. 10. For Protection After An Evil Portent

No. 11. For Protection Against Envy

No. 12. For The Cure Of Sickness Sent By Dead Adversaries

No. 13. Ceremony For The Cure Of Sickness Caused By A Dead Enemy

No. 14. Sorcery To Punish A Bobber Of The Milpa

No. 15. Sorcery Against A Slanderer

1. The Search For Truth:

2. The Demand For Justice:

3. The Condemnation:

4. The Execution:

5. The Atonement:

No. 16. Thanks Ai The Completion Of The Work Of Recording The Calendar

Appendix I: The Market At Chichicastenango

Appendix Ii: Terms Of Relationship 1

Appendix Iii: The Ecclesiastical Calendar At Chichicastenango 1

The Movable Feasts

Septuagesima (february 1, 1931):

The First Of Lent: 2

First Friday:

The Second Friday, Ladino Romería (observed February 19, 1932):

The Third Friday (observed February 26, 1932):

The Fifth Friday (observed March 11, 1932):

Holy Week (observed March 20–27, 1932):

Ascensión (may 5, 1932):

Pentecostes (pascua De Espiritu Santo) May 15, 1932:

Corpus Christi (may 25, 1932):

The Fixed Feasts 16

January 1:

January (?):

March 19, San José: 17

April 29, San Pedro Martyr:

May 3, The Commemoration Of The Cross:

June 24, San Juan Bautista:

June 29, San Pedro Y San Pablo:

July 25, Santiago:

August 15, Assumption:

August 18, La Coronación De Nuestra Senora:

August 24, San Bartholomé:

September 14, Exaltación De La Santa Cruz:

September 15–17, Fiesta Nacional:

September 29, San Miguel:

September 30, San Gerónimo Doctor:

October 8, Rosario. 23

October 18, Octavo Rosario:

November 1, All Saints. 24

November 2, All Souls (commemoración De Los Fieles Diffuncios). 25

November 11, San Martin:

November 15:

December 8, Concepción (fiesta On The Part Of The Ladinos):

December 17–22, Fiesta De Santo Tomás:

December 24, Noche Buena:

December 31, Año Nuevo:

Appendix Iv: Dances

Baile De Los Toritos (xojoj Rech Wakax). 1 Baile De Venado (xojoj Rech Masat) 2

Baile De La Conquista (xojoj Rech Tiqum):

Baile De Morro:

Baile Del Palo De Volador (ajuwi'che'):

Baile De Culebra:

El Baile De Maner (dance Of Invitation):

Baile Del Alb'al:

Appendix V: Folklore 1



Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: Chichicastenango: a Guatemalan village

Published By: Original publisher Locust Valley, N.Y.: J. J. Augustin. 1952. xxvi, 438 p. ill.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Ruth Bunzel

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2021. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Quiché Maya (NW10)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Inheritance (428); Visiting and hospitality (574); Residence (591); Offenses against the person (683); Sickness (750); Cult of the dead (769); Prayers and sacrifices (782); Religious practices (780); Congregations (794); Organized ceremonial (796); Texts translated into english (902);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This is a classic ethnography of the reputedly conservative Quiché Maya community of Chichicastenango, with a goal of studying traditional social practices and the changes that have occurred due to the expansion of state administration. In the introduction, the author reflects on the limitations of informants who may or may not be representative of the community. Major topics covered include economy, life cycle, local government, the fiesta system, and religion. The final third of the book is transcribed ritual performances.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 1

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. nw10-001

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 433-437)

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1930-1932

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist - 4, 5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Ian Skoggard; 2021

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1930-1932

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Chichicastenango, Quiché, Guatemala

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Quiché Indians


Copy and paste a formatted citation or use one of the links below to export the citation to your chosen bibliographic manager.

Export a Citation