By SONIA PEREZ D., Associated Press, February 21, 2015
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — A group of Guatemalan musicians is on a mission to breathe life into a pre-Columbian language and heritage through a thoroughly modern genre: hip-hop.
Calling themselves Balam Ajpu, which means Jaguar Warrior or Warrior of Light, they rap in the ancient Mayan Tz’utujil language with the goal of making it cool for kids and teaching them their ancestors’ stories and ways.
Their debut album, “Tribute to the 20 Nawuales,” or spirits, is set to be released to coincide with the March 20 spring equinox. The musicians rap in both Tz’utujil and Spanish, blending a hip-hop beat with marimba and natural sounds like bird songs and running water.