In Lak’ Ech (Medium, 2021)

Melanie Cervantes
Edition of 30, 12″ x 18″,
3 layer, two color prints on Cougar 100lb Digital Smooth Cover
Printed in my kitchen, San Leandro, CA

This print uses the notion of In Lak’ech from the poem Pensamiento Serpentino by Luis Valdez the Chicano playwright and founder of El Teatro Campesino. Stanzas from this poem were used as a meditation and commitment in the Mexican American Studies/Raza Studies classes in Tucson Unified School District.

In his own works Luis describes this:“In Lak’Ech is a timeless Mayan precept I incorporated into a larger poem called “Pensamiento Serpentino.” More specifically, I inherited In Lak’Ech directly from the late Professor Domingo Martinez Paredes of the National University of Mexico in the 1970s. He was the renowned author of several books on Mayan thought and culture, and I had the privilege of being personally tutored by him. The meaning of the phrase is affiliated with the Mayan definition of the human being, which they called “huinik’lil” or “vibrant being.” In this regard, we are all part of the same universal vibration. This was the origin of the recitation, excerpted from my poem, that celebrated our collective human being in Tucson’s MAS classes.”