- Indigenous Languages and Literatures
- Recovering Lost Footprints, Recovering Racialized Chains of Signifiers
MCP Salon D
Recovering Lost Footprints, Volume 2, analyzes contemporary Yucatecan Peninsular and Chiapanecan Maya narratives. These texts show contrasted epistemic dimensions of how Mayas configure their own selves and understand their communities. The metonymic vector organized around racialization, an end-result of the Spanish invasion, moves forward most narratives. They often display in their stories how bodies were disciplined, how they were treated as commodities to be bought and sold, and how these issues spilled into political life. Contemporary subjects absorbed a degree of Westernization, and became empowered by educational gains, yet never renounced their ontological practices. By looking at some of the examples analyzed in the book, this paper will argue how the aforementioned positionality forces us to address Maya ontological and veridictory constructions. By framing their discourse through the lens of cosmovision, these narratives evidence how Maya knowledge can be instrumentalized ethically to improve social conditions. These narratives depict subjects and communities fully aware of their ontological status, who are truly capable of understanding that the West is not the primary force to work out the science of the human. These premises, placing Indigenous subjects in direct opposition to Kaxlan abuses and colonial power, evidence their decolonizing nature. A new ecology of belonging is created by these chains of signifiers, in which new practices of nonanthropomorphic affect point the way towards a new ethics of beingness. This last issue also displays a need to reconfigure affect from a decolonial Indigenous perspective.