Ana Patricia Martínez Huchim, 54, dies; worked to preserve Mayan language

Ana Patricia Martinez Huchim. Photo: Facebook
Ana Patricia Martinez Huchim. Photo: Facebook

Mérida, Yucatán — The beloved Yucatecan writer Ana Patricia Martínez Huchim died Friday morning, the School of Literary Creation of the State Center of Fine Arts reported.

Martínez Huchim, only 54, was just last week honored for her work at Mérida’s Municipal Book Fair.

The cause of death was not disclosed.

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A leading author and poet in Yucatec Mayan, Martínez Huchim is especially known for her compilations of Mayan folk tales from her native Tizimín. Her works were translated not only into Spanish but also into English and other languages.

She was a member of the National System of Art Creators of Mexico’s National Fund for Culture and Arts (FONCA) and held a degree in Anthropology from the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY).

Among her works were the “Pocket Maya Dictionary” (2005, 2007, 2008), “U yóol xkaambal xíiw” (Contrayerba, 2016) and “Tsimin tuunich jwáay mis yéetel aluxo’ob” (“The Jwáay Cat and the Aluxes”).

Martínez Huchim was the recipient of the National Prize of Indigenous Literature Enedino Jiménez 2005 for her novel “U k’á jsajil u ts u ‘noj k’áax” / “Memories of the Heart of the Mountain,” and the Alfredo Barrera Vásquez Award in the UADY 2005 National University Literary Games.

Her efforts to preserve the Mayan oral tradition and to promote bilingualism made her worthy of other distinctions such as the Chíimpolal U Maaank’inal Prize Maaya T’aan at the 2013 Maternal Language Festival of the State of Yucatan and recognition for her participation was highlighted in the program “Women in Culture” in Tizimín.

A mass will be offered at noon today at the Funeraria Mérida, Avenida Itzáes between 65 and 61.

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