American Indian Studies

2016-17 Native American Speakers Series

The series features nationally recognized American Indian scholars and artists who will delve into diverse topics and issues including Lumbee history, Native cuisine, health and wellness and Southeastern Native art.

Admission to the series is free, and it is open to the public.

Unlocking Silent Histories and Maya Traditions Foundation

From left to right: Carlos (USH), Marisol (MTF), Matea (MTF), Donna (USH), Carmen (USH), Chema (USH), Celina (MTF), and Elena (MTF)

Unlocking Silent Histories and Maya Traditions Foundation
September 20, 2016
7:00 p.m.
University Center Annex

This is a unique opportunity to celebrate the work of Unlocking Silent Histories youth filmmakers and MTF weavers as they celebrate and share their Maya identities, resilience, knowledge, and traditions. 

Our Guatemalan Maya guests are also looking forward to learning more about Indigenous history and life in North Carolina.   The new perspectives and knowledge that our Maya colleagues gain during their U.S. stay will ultimately translate to their continued work, particularly with new filmmakers in their communities.   Don’t miss this unique opportunity to witness Maya culture expressed through youth-produced documentaries and traditional weaving practices, presented and demonstrated by participants in these two organizations.

About the organizations: 

USH Youth-Produced Documentaries

Unlocking Silent Histories, founded in 2013, engages youth in a form of participatory video ethnography program, where Indigenous youth explore their communities, traditions, and histories, research that later materializes as short films that express their worlds through their unique cultural perspective. USH employs youth to lead this charge.  Program leaders Carmen, Carlos, and Chema will present their films, the films of their students, and discuss their role in expanding USH to 9 Maya communities in Sololá, Guatemala.  

“We are not professional filmmakers,” says Carlos, the USH Guatemala Program Manager, “the importance of our work is that each of our students create something that emerges from their heart.”

MTF Artisans

Maya Traditions Foundations, leverages traditional Maya heritage and art, connecting female artisans with national and international markets committed to the Fair Trade Principles. Recognized as one of the early leaders in the Fair Trade model, Maya Traditions Foundation now works with over 120 indigenous women, providing quality textile-based products around the world.  Representatives from three of these communities, Cecilia, Elena, and Matea will demonstrate the traditional practices of backstrap weaving and jaspe.  

 “"I want the audience to learn a little bit of my language–K’iche, I want to teach them how we use traditional dress in my town and why it is important. Sharing backstrap weaving, I hope they are able to learn more about our ancestral knowledge as Maya people."




Past Speakers