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.

Currently unpublished.

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