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About Our Logo


The logo is based on a traditional weaving design representing the ceiba tree (Ceiba pentandra), a tree sacred to the Mayas. The Yax Te' logo is based on the ceiba, known in English as the kapok, which is called Green Tree in Mayan languages. The form of this name varies slightly from language to language. A frequently used form is Raxche', which is a Kaqchikel variant. The form Yax Te' is from Q'anjob'al, the language of one of our frequent authors, Gaspar Pedro González, and the first language studied by Yax Te' staff member, Laura Martin.

The ceiba can reach great heights and great age. Its three sections - the roots, the straight trunk, and the spreading, flat-topped branches - represent the three dimensions of the Mayan vertical universe: the dark, damp underworld of Xibalbá, the natural world that surrounds us, and the supernatural world from which the ancestors observe our actions. It is the axis mundi, the World Tree.

Ceiba images appear in the weavings of many towns and often include the image of the Celestial bird sitting in the upper branches. Our logo is derived from an image woven in a belt from Santa Catarina Palapó, a village on the shores of Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. For us the logo represents the beginning of a newly independent Yax Te' and the promise of productivity as we strive to fulfill our mission.




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Yax Te' Books • Department of Spanish and Portuguese • Anderson Hall • Temple University • 1114 West Berks Street • Philadelphia, PA 19122

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