Song featuring lyrics ‘Oh Senor…’ quite a lot’: Mayan Evangelical Singer

  • Gavin Michael Weston Goldsmiths College, London. Anthropology Department

Abstract

In the first few months of my PhD fieldwork in Guatemala excitement and unease regarding my new life as an anthropologist fed an epic bout of insomnia exacerbated by a mouse who shared my shed-like sleeping quarters and liked to climb on my face during my sleep. Sleep was also hampered by a song, largely in Mam, but with two words in Spanish played with disturbing frequency through crackly loud speakers late into the night and from early in the morning. As a non-Mam-speaker the words meant nothing to me until the refrain of ‘Ohhhhhhh seññññoooooorrrr’ came around again. My sleep deprived brain would sing along with words it didn’t understand. I now recognise through others that the sense of sinking or losing the plot is a relatively common experience in fieldwork – each person’s shaped by the specificities of their situation. This song was the soundtrack to my madness.

Section
Special section
Published
Feb 6, 2019
How to Cite
Weston, G. (2019). Song featuring lyrics ‘Oh Senor…’ quite a lot’: Mayan Evangelical Singer. Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society, 43(2), 67-70. https://doi.org/10.30676/jfas.v43i2.77599