RABIN AJAU UPDATE: A Princess is Crowned

Selected from a field of some 80 young Maya women, Rosa Lidia Aguaré Castro, from Santa Lucía La Reforma, Totonicapán, is the new Rabin Ajau (Daughter of the King) for 2011-2012.

The highlight of the annual National Folkloric Festival in Cobán, the magical pageant was conducted July 30 at the sports stadium field house. In addition to heartfelt presentations by the contestants, the daylong event included special cultural presentations, spectacular pyrotechnic shows and speeches by dignitaries (see feature story in Revue, July 2011).

The young women, dressed in traditional ceremonial costumes, were judged on criteria including oratory, knowledge of history and culture, grace, charm, sincerity and intelligence. Nearly all the candidates focused their verbal presentations on ecological issues, which often included strong criticism of foreign mining operations.

The panel of judges selected 14 semifinalists and later pared the list to four. The final moment came at 1:30 a.m. when, amid uproarious cheers of unfettered elation, Rosa was declared the winner.

After bursting into tears of joy, Rosa took a few moments to regain composure. A minute later she took on the regal bearing of a true princess as she spoke words of great wisdom to one and all.

Upon receiving her crown, she told the crowd that we must all embrace the “golden rule” and come together in the spirit of love and unity.

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