International E-publication: Publish Projects, Dissertation, Theses, Books, Souvenir, Conference Proceeding with ISBN.  International E-Bulletin: Information/News regarding: Academics and Research

Exploring the Cultural / Spiritual Histories of the Q'echi' Maya and Yoruba-Caribbean People in the Americas: Maya Feminine Spirituality and Shango as Symbols of Cultural / Spiritual Preservation and Transnationalistic Unity

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Colorado School of Mines, UNITED STATES

Int. Res. J. Social Sci., Volume 1, Issue (2), Pages 34-42, October,14 (2012)


This review article utilizes the concept of oppositional consciousness to shed light on how the Q’echi’ Maya of northern Guatemala and people of Yoruba ancestry in the Caribbean actively resisted and preserved their cultural/spiritual traditions in the face of Roman Catholic Christianity in the Americas. Specifically, this article will sketch the spiritual/cultural histories of the Q’echi’ Maya in the northern highlands of Guatemala, with focused attention given to the Q’echi’ Maya of Copal’aa and Coban, communities located in Alta Verapaz, and Yoruba-descended people in the Caribbean. This controlled comparison will highlight the similarities of how these two peoples resisted and transformed attempts by colonial powers to pacify them with Roman Catholic Christianity and instead transformed Roman Catholic icons and symbols into symbols of resistance and activism. Moreover, this work will argue that both the Q’echi’ Maya in northern Guatemala and people of Yoruba ancestry in the Caribbean were able to effectively resist Roman Catholic Christianity because of the presence of a highly developed pantheon of energies and deities in their own spiritual traditions. Finally, this work will demonstrate how these peoples drew upon the feminine aspects of their spiritual realities in their traditions which emphasize a dynamic of complementarity when they were either forced to engage with Roman Catholic Christianity or incorporated their Indigenous spirituality with Roman Catholic Christianity. This work seeks to make these connections more explicit and thus contribute to the growing field of Hemispheric Studies.


  1. Lara I., Bruja Positionalities,: Towards a Chicana/Latina Spiritual Activism, Resistant and Activist Spirituality, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, 4(2) (2005)
  2. Gomez-Barris M. and Irazabal C., Transnational Meanings of La Virgen de Guadalupe: Religiosity, Space and Culture at Plaza Mexico, Culture and Religion, 10(3), 339-357 (2009)
  3. Aldama A., Disrupting Savagism: Intersecting Chicana/o, Mexican Immigrant, and Native American Struggles for Self-Representation, Duke University Press, Durham, North Carolina, 3 (2001)
  4. Pozo M., Review of Methodology of the Oppressed, St. John’s University Humanities Review, 1.2 (2003)
  5. Watanabe J. and Fischer E., Pluralizing Ethnography: Comparison and Representation in Maya Cultures, Histories, and Identities. School of American Research, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2004)
  6. MacLeod M., an Outline of Central American Colonial Demographics, Historical Demography of Highland Guatemala I. West and Augelli, University of Arizona Press (2004)
  7. Perera V., Unfinished Conquest: The Guatemalan Tragedy, University of California Press, Berkeley, California (1993)
  8. Perera V., Unfinished Conquest: The Guatemalan Tragedy, University of California Press, Berkeley, California (1993)
  9. Barrett L., Soul-Force: African Heritage in Afro-Caribbean Religion, Anchor Press, Garden City, New York, 79 (2004)
  10. Bisnauth D., History of Religions in the Caribbean, Kingston Publishers Limited, Kingston, Jamaica, 1-12 (1989)
  11. Bolling L., Conversations with Howard Thurman, Part 2., The Howard Thurman Educational Trust, San Francisco, California (1978)
  12. Mitchell M., Religion and the Discovery of Self: Howard Thurman and the Tributaries of the Deep River, The Religion Factor: An Introduction to How Religion Matters, Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Kentucky, 86 (1996)
  13. Brandon G., Santeria from Africa to the New World: The Sell Memories, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana, 104-120 (1993)
  14. Fisher R., West African Religious Traditions: Focus on the Akan of Ghana, Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York, 138-42 (1998)