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This book is a collection of dramatic life-stories from the viewpoint of a Guambiano master story-teller. The English translation and ethnographic comment are by Judy Branks from the Guambiano texts by Juan Bautista Sanchez. Judy and her husband Tom have lived and worked among the Guambianos for 37 years. They met Juan Bautista Sánchez and asked him to tell them stories from the lives of his people for a literacy primer and quickly realized his masterful storytelling talent. These collected pieces comprise his interpretation of the Guambiano cycle of life. The translation into English was carefully done to preserve the rich cultural expression. Although this study reflects the cultural practices of the Guambiano people as they existed more than 40 years ago, it remains an important interpretation from the viewpoint of a member of that society and will be of interest to students of anthropology or sociology. In addition, these stories can be used in a comparative study with the Guambianos of today. The book is also a fascinating read for anyone interested in native cultural studies.
Judy Branks, along with her husband Tom, arrived in Colombia in 1964 to begin the task of analyzing the Guambiano language area until 2000. They are now based in Dallas, Texas, and work as facilitators of the continuing translation of Old Testament books, literacy materials, revisions, the recording of Guambiano hymns, and educational materials for the Guambiano church and the community.