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Photographer's Note

Chichicastenango, located about 140 km northwest of Guatemala City, is an indigeneous town, home to what is surely one of the most colorful native markets in North and Central America. The Spanish conquistadors gave the town its name Tzitzicaztenanco, or "City of Nettles".

The famous handicraft market of Chichicastenango draws not only the K'iche' Maya of the surrounding region, but vendors from all over Guatemala. They represent many of Guatemala's linguistic groups such as Mam, Ixil, Kaqchikel and others, each hawking his or her products in a riotous cacophony of color, dialects and costumes, smoke, and smells. This town in the mountains of Quiche has been, since pre-Hispanic times, one of the largest trading centers in the Maya area.

The main plaza has two churches at each side, which manifest the interesting blend of Christian faith with still-alive Mayan traditions beneath. 400 years old Santo Tomas church has 18 steps which represent 18 months of Mayan calendar. This boy, wearing a Ninja Turtle sweatshirt, apparently fell asleep while waiting for her mom to finish her shopping "ritual".

His head was falling every 15 seconds from one side to the other, making me laugh so loudly that holding the camera steady became a hard task. :-)

Scanned from slide, cropped, applied sharpness and applied Neat Image.

Source: Chichi I , Chichi II

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Additional Photos by Erdem Kutukoglu (Suppiluliuma) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 260 W: 105 N: 596] (3885)
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