Omar Aguilar Sánchez
is a Mixtec indigenous researcher, the Mixtec People or rather Ñuu Savi, People or Nation of the Rain, is an Indigenous People in southern Mexico. Archaeologist at the National School of Anthropology and History (México). Thesis defense: January 16, 2015 (With Honors). Title thesis: “Límites y extensión territorial de Santo Tomás Ocotepeque: un asentamiento de principios de la época colonial en la Mixteca Alta oaxaqueña”. Currently, Aguilar is PhD. Candidate in the Sustainable Humanities Program (2016-2020), Faculty of Archaeology / Faculty of Humanities, Leiden University (The Netherlands).
Research Project and participation in ENGHUM-PROJECT
Aguilar’s PhD. research project is titled “Ñuhun Ñuu Savi: Language and land as cultural heritage of the People of the Rain”. His research focuses on understanding the symbolic stratigraphy of the land (through time) from the worldview of the People of the Rain, by studying contemporary cultural heritage in communities of the Mixtec Highlands.
His research follows three axes: 1) Cultural continuity of the People of the Rain is undeniable and language is the primordial link to the past. 2) Through the study of language, oral literature, ceremonial discourses, rituals and the daily life it is possible to have a deep understanding of signs, concepts, scenes and themes contained in the pre-colonial pictorial manuscripts, the sacred landscape contained in colonial maps, the intrinsic meaning of the cultural material and even the function of pre-colonial sites. And 3) the importance of studying Indigenous heritage by themselves lies not only in the past but also in the present as it aids to recognize their past, strengthen their identity, and to re-value and protect their cultural heritage.
The contribution of Aguilar in this project is to emphasize that to achieve language revitalization within Indigenous Peoples in Mesoamerica is necessary the “reintegration of the cultural memory” as a whole, in line with the principles of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), a Post-colonial framework and decolonizing methodologies.