|The visiting group in the terrace|
As part of their trip through the area to know the ancient cultures of Mesoamerica, a group of Dutch citizens guided by Ruud van Akkeren visited the Popol Vuh Museum of the Francisco Marroquín University and had lunch at the UFM campus.
The trip includes Palenque, Bonampak, Tikal and other important cities of the mesoamerican antiquity; the participants not only make tourism, but they study the Mayans and other local cultures. The Popol Vuh, sacred book of the Quichés, is among their readings.
Van Akkeren is an expert on the Mayan writings of Guatemala´s highlands. He has deepened in this field conducting etnográfic and documentary investigations since 1987, particularly in the region of Rabinal, Baja Verapaz. He obtained a doctorate degree by the University of Leiden, Holland, and wrote the books Place of the Lords Daughter: Rabinal, its history, its dance-drama; and Winaq re Juyub’ Taq’aj, La Gente de los Cerros y Valles.
The first book is a detailed analysis of the dance-drama currently known as Rabinal Achí and its historical context. The second is the history of Guatemala´s highlands before the Spanish conquest.
Van Akkeren also has made deep studies on Tecún Uman, whose death has given origin to a rich mythology, up to a point that some historians doubt the historicity of Tecún Uman. Nevertheless, the Título Koyoi, written by a witness of the battle, contains a detailed story of the confrontation. From that text, Ruud van Akkeren explored the history and the myth of the national hero.
In his speeches, Van Akkeren also uses the linen cloth of Quauhquechollan, painted in the XVI century, that shows two groups of soldiers facing through a stone wall, and a Spanish seated in a chair, observing while a dog bites the foot of a native. All of it during a battle of Guatemala´s conquest.