Mayan Myth And Legend with Martin Prechtel

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Twenty-five years ago, a young musician and painter named Martin Prechtel, a half-blood Native American with a Pueblo Indian upbringing, wandered through the brilliant landscapes of Mexico and Guatemala. Arriving at Santiago Atitlan, a Tzutujil Mayan village, Prechtel met Nicolas Chiviliu Tacaxoy--perhaps the most famous shaman in Tzutujil history--who believed Prechtel was the new student he had asked the gods to provide. For the next thirteen years, Prechtel studied the ancient Tzutujil culture, and became a village chief, and a famous shaman in his own right. Prechtel mixes Mayan myths with a first-person account of his efforts to escape from Guatemala with his family intact during the 1980s civil war that tore the country apart. In this dialogue you will get a privileged and rare glimpse into the complex and spiritually rich life of the Mayan culture, with tales filled with enchantment, danger, passion, and hope. "It is very good to be a coward because it is the only way you can gain courage." (hosted by Michael Toms)


Martin Prechtel is a renowned artist and healer, and leads workshops and gives lectures across the country.

He is the author of:

  • The Disobedience of the Daughter of the Sun (North Atlantic Books 2006)
  • Long Life, Honey in the Heart (North Atlantic Books 2004)
  • Secrets of the Talking Jaguar (Tarcher 1999)
  • The Toe Bone and the Tooth (Element Books 2004)

To find out more information about the work of Martin Prechtel go to

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How you can be ritually fed and how does it relate to the year 2012
  • What is the importance of the thirteen Mayans
  • When being a coward allows you to be courageous.
  • Why do the Mayans never visit their own temples
  • Why shamanic rituals were important to the Mayans
Host: Michael Toms      Interview Date: 5/18/2006      Program Number: 3155