Guatemala’s cultural heritage agency, the Culture Ministry, has awarded a cultural heritage award to a folk culture group.
In awarding the Guajataca-based Maqui tribe the Grand Prix for the Cultural Heritage, the agency said the group “has achieved extraordinary cultural and historic significance, and its culture has influenced generations to come.”
It is the first time that Guatemala has awarded such a prestigious cultural award to an indigenous group, the ministry said in a statement.
The Grand Prix is awarded to the top 10% of the cultural output of each national cultural heritage category.
Guatemala’s other cultural heritage awards include the Grand Prize for Cultural Heritage for its national songbook and the Grand Prizes for Cultural Art and Cultural History.
“The Maquis have achieved extraordinary economic and cultural achievements in the region, and their culture has been influential to generations to follow,” the ministry added.
The Maqis are part of a group of indigenous people who live in the central and eastern part of the country, along the southern border with Mexico.
Their ancestors lived in the same area for thousands of years, but the area became occupied by Mexican settlers in the 1930s.
The area is also home to the Maquí archaeological sites, which have been under threat due to the presence of the U.S. military base at Ciudad Juarez.
The tribe’s chief, Joaquin Torres, said in the statement the award was a “great cultural achievement” for the Maqi people.
“It’s an incredible honor to be recognized in this category.
It’s a great achievement, to be a part of such a great cultural effort,” Torres said.