In Kgoyom Totonac, tutu means three and nakú means hearts: put them together and you have the title of Lucia Brandi's new book Tutunakú: Language, Power and Youth in Central México, which we announce today. Tutunakú is more than a name for a language: it's a whole family of indigenous linguistic cultures, among the oldest in the Americas.

And on the cover, three women who have put their hearts into supporting research, publishing and the maintenance of Totonac — sisters Regina (left) and Dolores Luna Garcia (right), with mother Regina Snr.:

The photo, dating from 2014, was taken at the Colegio Paulo Freire, in Huehuetla / Kgoyom. It's the only independent Totonac high school in Mexico, built by parents, students, and supporters, and stands as a visible symbol of the determination to keep Mexican indigenous culture vibrantly alive. The school has a maintenance team for the local Kgoyom Totonac language, a team whose name translates literally like so:

Xtachuwin Kinkachikinkan Xa Akgtutu Nakú
Language of my people with three hearts

The crate just visible to the left contains tamales cooked by Mum Regina to celebrate the appearance of a children's trilingual audiobook, Tsikan chu Nipxi', which Lucia had worked on with the school's language team.

Tutunakú is due out in our Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures series in summer 2024.


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