Central American Songs for Voice, Flute/Piccolo, Percussion (caxixi, guiro, wood block) and Piano by Katherine Hoover
Piano/Vocal score and parts
- The Woman of Huipil from “The Word” by Celina Garcia (piccolo used for this movement)
- Remedies / Virginia Grutter ; translated by Janet Rodney
- Prayer for a Son Disappeared – Maria Perez Tzu ; transcribed from Mayan and translated by Ambar Past
Many of the countries of Central America have the inherently unstable situation of a large population of “peasants” – largely poor and Native American – and a very small group of extremely rich non-Indian landowners. The latter tend to control the government and army as well as the land, and have traditionally cultivated close ties with the United States government. During the 1980’s, Nicaragua and El Salvador experienced prolonged struggles that stemmed from these harsh disparities, nd one currently active in southern Mexico. In Guatemala, the military government has carried out systematic “actions” against the Mayans, who are a peaceful, artistic culture. These have included removal and massacres. Only in the last few years has the United States tried to discourage these acts, leaving many in the region very bitter indeed. (We still remain the major supplier of weapons to this brutal regime.) The award of a Nobel Prize to a Guatemalan Mayan woman, Rigoberto Menchu, in 1992, focused international attention on the situation, and helped to curb the atrocities. The following poems used in this work come directly from these struggles for freedom and integrity, and reflect the lives of women caught up in these events.
I The Woman of the Huipil from “The Word” by Celina Garcia
A huipil is a colorful and intricately embroidered vest that Mayan women traditionally wear. Until the current repressive climate began in the 1970’s, “America”, or “Amerigo” were common names in Central America.
II Remedies – Virginia Grutter, translated by Janet Rodney
III Prayer for a Son Disappeared – Maria Perez Tzu; transcribed from Mayan and translated by Amber Past