Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams
Photographs and Text by Fran Antmann
ISBN 9-788182-500631 pp.200 2017 Hardcover
A book of photographs and writing that explores the power and mystery of ancient indigenous healing practices among the Maya people of Guatemala.
“Fran Antmann grew to know a culture, lived in it, merged with it, translated it, and loved it. She photographed the dreams that guide us to wisdom and healing, then wrapped those images in quetzal feathers. Today, she returns her vision of the world to the men and women she met through this encounter between cultures. It is a privilege to have been invited to write the preface to this book which is more than a book—it is a revelation.
—Carolina Escobar Sarti, Guatemalan poet
“Fran Antmann’s work in Maya Healers, years in the making, is imbued with the depth and texture only great photography can achieve; where the images transcend being mere documents but reach great art. Many of the images, especially of the people in their daily lives, are transcendent and absolutely gorgeous, revealing an empathy and visual perception that is timeless.”
— Ed Kashi, international prize-winning photojournalist
“…With clear-eyed reporting and her starkly moving images of Mayan life along the shores of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, and the healers who live and work there, Fran Antmann has shed light on a story known to few outside the Mayan world….”
—Joyce Maynard, novelist and journalist
Maya healers derive their powers from connection to the supernatural. Drawing on dreams, intuition and ancient traditions, they heal the sick surrounded by friends and family. I was privileged to be included in these intense, intimate healings and to listen to the stories and dreams of these healers, shamans and bonesetters. Thirty years ago such ceremonies could have triggered a brutal crackdown. Now they are now part of a proud resurgent Maya identity.
Fran Antmann is a documentary photographer, writer and teacher living in Brooklyn, New York. For thirty years, she has been documenting the lives and cultures of the Maya, Andean, Inuit and Dene indigenous people—in the villages surrounding Lake Atitlán in Guatemala, in the villages and mining towns of the Peruvian highlands, in the tundra of the Canadian Arctic and in Baffin Island, Canada.
Her work has been exhibited and published in New York, Texas, Peru, Mexico, France, England and Denmark. Her photographs are in the collections of the International Center of Photography, the Brooklyn Museum, the Haverford College Collection, The Museum of Photographic Arts, Denmark, and various private collections.
Antmann received a doctorate in Fine Arts from New York University and teaches at Baruch College, City University of New York. She has received grants from the Fulbright Commission, the Ford Foundation, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, Agfa Corporation, the Social Science Research Council, the Puffin Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Foundation. She was also awarded numerous New York State Foundation for the Arts fellowships.