Leaving Home: Socratic Dialogue v Mayan Art

Elementary and Middle School

This teaching activity is from the article and also lesson, Crossing borders Through art by Lynda Tredway.

You are watching: Based on your knowledge of the artists in the lesson, which of them created the image above?

Paula Nicho Cumez, called by some as Guatemala’s most important Maya woman living artist, offers images in her job-related that can be provided in a discussion or Socratic seminar come “unpack” the feelings of leave one’s house country.


Mas Allá del Universo (Beyond the Universe), 2005, 24" x 32"Private repertoire San Francisco. Cat. PNC-007

Here is the opening inquiry for the image above:

Which adjective ideal describes the picture of woman together angel leaving she country and going throughout la frontera?Note: girlfriend can change the adjectives to other synonyms for qualities K-3.

Resolute (showing determination and also purpose)Ambivalent (not entirely sure around her choice)Transported (being brought away)Nostalgic (yearning, homesick)

Here is an additional image from the exact same series:


Cruzando Fronteras (Crossing Borders), 2007, 24" x 32"Private arsenal San Francisco. Cat. PNC-010

About the Artist

Paula Nicho Cumez is one of the most recognized Maya painters in Guatemala and also on the international level. She is a leader in she community.She explains her life and work as follows:


Paula Nicho Cumez

"My story starts in mountain Juan Comalapa ~ above January 15, 1955. One of ten children, I prospered up in a difficult working family. Mine father to be a farmer, my mother a weaver. She taught united state the arts of weaving, as she wanted us to recognize a handmade in enhancement to what we learned in school. From the moment I to be a child, I had actually a an excellent liking because that the arts. In school contests, I always took one of the top areas in drawing or painting. It was my grandfather, Francisco Cúmez, who urged me to authorize up because that painting and also drawing classes. He to be a sculptor and saw other in me the he encouraged.

I learned with terrific master painter, Salvador Cúmez Curruchich, and he teach me therefore much an ext than I believed I could learn around this fascinating people of painting. Through my classes, I dropped in love v my teacher and today that is my husband. He continues to present me a an excellent deal around art and life. Us share a life based upon effort and also work, and together we started an arts supply shop. As soon as I met him, ns left the weaving arts the my mother had taught me to dedicate mine time to mine true passion, painting.

Now the I"ve grown and also matured together an artist, i spend part of my time teaching the things I"ve learned throughout my career. Ns teach mine family and also friends to draw and also paint. This is something beautiful because that me, since I feel that I"m giving back a part of all ns learned native Salvador.

My impetus for developing a occupational of art originates from many sources – our native women, my culture, mine town, mine life and also the sacred Maya book, the Popol Vuh. Mrs is the communication for culture and, if this basic is solid, we can use the to develop a far better Guatemala. My understanding of weaving have the right to be seen in many of my paintings. Many of my ideas come to me in dreams.

I started my career together an artist in 1985 and also since then, I"ve committed most of my time come painting. For me, it"s a method to express my feelings, ideas and fantasies. My biggest dream is come one day have actually a personal museum. I"ve to be able to share my time through painting, elevating my children and also spending time through my friends. I think they view me as an example – a great friend that is kind and honest.

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I quiet remember my first painting. I depicted a legacy in our town, the dance of the Moors. This is a classic folk run evoking incidents of the Spanish occupation of Guatemala. I also recall the I sold that painting during my very first exhibit.

One the moment that marked me most and also inspired me to struggle for the empowerment of indigenous women was a school activity for September 15, independence Day. We had actually to in march in a parade through our college uniforms. My mom was very excited due to the fact that she had woven me a traditional huipil blouse for me come wear. But the teacher didn"t desire me come march with our regional dress. That hurt me a lot. My mommy had worked hard come weave it because that me and the teacher – that didn"t share our legacies – wouldn"t let me wear it. The incident influenced the paint "My 2nd Skin," due to the fact that that"s exactly how I watch our traditional dress, choose a 2nd skin. I"ve always worn our skirts and also huipils and also I"m proud of mine roots."

Paula Nicho Cúmez"s life motivated the quick film Del Azul al Cielo directed by Ana Carlos, that tells the story of how she faced the after-effects of the civil war.