The Rabinal Achí
Declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, the Rabinal Achí is the only example of a pre-Columbian Mayan dance-drama known and enacted today.
The 600-year-old play is preserved and performed by Xajoj Tun, a small troupe of dedicated performers made up mostly of Achí Mayan elders who struggle to keep the tradition alive due to numerous obstacles, but primarily lack of interest from non-family youth.
The Rabinal Achí, important because of its historic, spiritual and artistic content, is carried out publicly on a dozen different locations during the week-long annual syncretic festivities celebrating Saint Paul, Rabinal town’s patron saint.
All photographs from January 2017. Rabinal, Guatemala.