Nepal and Latin America are oceans apart, yet similar in many ways

Apry 04, 2016

Nepal is hosting the 2016 edition of World Wood Day celebration, an annual event held to highlight the significance of the eco-friendly and renewable material. The event will conclude on March 25, with the ‘Wooden Music Concert’ to be held at Nepal Academy, Kamaladi. Onlinekhabar spoke to Mayan artist Luis Antoni Yat de Leon present in Kathmandu to participate in the event.

My name is Luis Antoni Yat de Leon. I belong to the Mayan community of around six million people spread over central America, south of Mexico to north of Guatemala.

I am also a permaculturist and a coffee grower, and also a sculptor.

In 2014, I was invited to present my sculptures in China, and to talk about the Mayan art. I was again invited to Turkey to take part in a collaborative project last year . The organisers of an event here in Nepal invited me to be a part of this year’s World Wood Day celebrations in Kathmandu.

In Nepal, I have seen many things that are similar to that of the Mayan culture. For example, the weaving and the mythology appear to be the same. The colours are contrasting. I have seen vivid green and red go together, I have also seen geometrical patterns that reflect astronomy. There are lot of carvings of humans with animal faces, gods and goddesses with six arms and two heads and so on. This is very similar to the Mayan culture.

I think our cultures’ proximity with nature must have helped develop our cultures in the same direction. Take for example weaving; it is inspired by the spider. I also think that there was a time when native Americans could come to Asia via Alaska, that is why there are deep connections between cultures across oceans.

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