This work documents the Saa (Zapotec) cultural heritage of the Bene’ Ya’a/En’ne I’ya, the Zapotec inhabitants of the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca. The book is the result of a close collaboration with the peoples of those communities. In the Dilla Xhon variant (Cajonos Zapotec), the ritual experts are called Weneya’a which means “the one who speaks with the mountains”. The Weneya’a give meaning to the cultural heritage of their communities such as healing practices, illnesses, life and death, all of this in accordance with their sacred landscape. Despite centuries of profound changes, their knowledge has been passed on through the generations from prehispanic times onwards.
The heritage of the communities is studied by using two major perspectives: the symbols transmitted by the Weneya’a during their mantic interpretations and ritual discourses together with the meaning of the sacred landscape in cultural memory.
Caroll Davila obtained her PhD in 2019 at Leiden University and the Université Libre de Bruxelles and is currently a collaborative researcher at both universities. She is also associated to the CIESAS in Oaxaca.