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Highland Maya

© Lauren Greenfield

Having spent two summers in the Zinacantecan village of Nabenchauk when I was three and four years old, I returned twenty one years later to photograph modern Maya life. The thriving modern Maya culture of Zincantan had never been well documented because of a traditional hostility to photography. As my mother, a professor of psychology who has done extensive research on the Maya, and I had a long-standing relationship with a Zinacanteco family, we were able to make unprecedented pictures of daily life in the Zinacanteco village of Nabencauk, including previously undocumented rituals such as curing ceremonies and church baptisms.

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