Publication of the First Two Books Written in Pesh

By ELAR Archive|November 30, 2017|ELDP Special Event/Output|0 comments

Claudine Chamoreau, one of our ELDP grantees has edited and published the first two books written in Pesh with translations into Spanish, French, and English (at the end of each book). There is also an audiovisual version available for both books; the first publication is now available. Funders for the books and the documentary were: Centre d’Etudes Mexicaines et Centraméricaines (CEMCA), Laboratory of Excellence – Empirical Foundations of Linguistics (LABEX-EFL) and the University of the Sorbonne Paris Cité (USPC).

The first two books entirely written in the Pesh language, 2017

Several members of the Pesh community became actively involved in the project, and expressed the need for books in their language to be published with the aim of strengthening and disseminating their cultural traditions and developing educational materials for teaching the language, which are currently almost non-existent. That need emerged during the project, and the two books are the result: they will be of value both in the Pesh community and to society at large. They have been written for the Pesh community and all those interested in the Pesh language to enjoy. They thus include translations into Spanish, French and English.

Younger speaker reading the book in La Laguna, May 2017

For the first publication we chose the tale ‘The mother of the fishes’, since it was narrated on several occasions by speakers from different villages and it occupies an important place in Pesh tradition. Different recordings of the story include many common features, and we have used them to present the Pesh version of this famous myth from Central and South America (also known as ‘The Mermaid’). An audiovisual version is also available.. For the second publication, we chose the tale Takaskro (the sisimite), since it was narrated on several occasions by speakers and it also occupies an important place in Pesh tradition. Different recordings of the story include many common features, and we have used them to present the Pesh version of this famous myth from Central America (also known with its nahuatl name as tzitzimitl). The sisimite is described as a hairy monster with manlike characteristics who kidnaps women to take them to his cave, and who has feet turned backwards to outwit those who want to pursue him. The electronic version will be available on the CEMCA website at the end of 2017. Speakers of Pesh who have pushed for this publication – Ángel Martínez Torres, Juana Hernández Torres, Nimer López García and Danilo Lugo Mendoza – met on various occasions to edit and transcribe it. They checked all the illustrations made by two artists; some were not accepted and needed to be redone.

Younger non-speakers and older speakers reading the books, La Campana, May 2017

To learn more about Pesh, visit the Pesh deposit on the ELAR online catalogue. To view the trailer for the upcoming documentary on this project, visit this page

Blog post by Claudine Chamoreau

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