Taube presents Guatemalan journeys

Tyler Reese | Staff Writer May 15, 2014 Rhonda Taube is an instructor in art history at Riverside City College and held her “Journeys of the spirit and body: performance, gender and globalization in highland Guatemala” faculty lecture on the K’iche Maya in the Salvatore G. Rotella Digital Library Auditorium May 8. “I was surprised how full the auditorium was, I’ve never seen it so full,” said Montana Calderon an RCC student. Taube talked of her ancestry before starting her lecture, to make a comparison of the struggle her great grandmother had in the First World War to the K’iche Maya’s. Taube described how the K’iche Maya women had to keep their family out of harms way because of the advancing armies. “I love how she incorporated her own background, said Patricia Avila dean of instructions for career and technical education. “It made the lecture warm and personal.” Taube described how the K’iche Maya and countless other communities struggled when the Civil War was going on. Rebels were resisting the dictatorship government rule and because of the resistance by rebel fighters the government deployed troops and invaded many small communities. Not only were small communities invaded, but they were also forced to move away from their homes and into camps made by the government. Despite decades of Civil War and struggle the K’iche Maya recuperated to their normal habits and cultural ceremonies in just a few of years. The K’iche Maya are one of 20 groups of indigenous tribes in Guatemala, all with their own language. The 20 tribes share a sacred pre-Hispanic 260-day calendar because their shorter calendar represents the harvest and spiritual enlightenment, according to Taube. Taube spoke of when she was still a college student and how Guatemala fascinated her. The struggle and hardships of the K’iche Maya inspired Taube to fly to Guatemala and study abroad. While living in Guatemala Taube learned that priestesses and priests commence all of the K’iche Maya’s ceremonies such as ceremonial dancing, festivals and other public ritual performances. During the lecture Taube played videos of all the ceremonies Taube studied while living and working in Guatemala. Taube has also had the great honor of taking part of many ceremonies. “It was inspiring when she added her own journey and how it motivated and attracted her to work in Guatemala,” said Avila. Taube also spoke of her many good friends still living in Guatemala that she still talks to today. Thanks to today’s technology she is able to communicate with her friends via Facebook. “I thought it was cool when she said she was still able to keep in contact with her friends,” Calderon said. With a smile on her face and a sigh of relief Taube ended her lecture with a thunderous applause from her audience. RCC president Wolde-ab Isaac presented Taube with a gift of appreciation for all of her hard work and efforts.