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Estudios de cultura maya

versión impresa ISSN 0185-2574


RAIMUNDEZ ARES, Zoraida. The "Letters from the Caciques" of Yucatan of 1567: New Perspectives. Contributions from the Critical Edition and Translation. Estud. cult. maya [online]. 2019, vol.54, pp.219-253. ISSN 0185-2574.

The "Letters of the caciques" are a group of petitions written in Yucatec Maya and in Spanish. Used as a source of the Yucatan history, they have been studied from the Spanish version, obviating the one in Yucatec Maya. This article argues the importance of knowing and working with the indigenous texts. A deep analysis of these letters shows that they were elaborated in a very particular way, translated from a Spanish text and not the opposite as it had been assumed until the present. This becomes obvious if these letters are compared with other similar documents like the one I call Letter 8.

The analysis of the Maya versions show a word by word translation from the Spanish text, and very unusual expressions, if contrasted with other original documents written by indigenous people in their own languages. The context and genesis of these documents explain the reasons and the surrounding circumstances involving the creation of this letters.

Palabras llave : Translation; caciques; Colonial letters; Maya language; Yucatán.

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