Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams

“Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams,” recently published by Nirala Press, is a unique book of photographs and writing that explores the power and mystery of indigenous healing practices among the Maya people of Guatemala. In our data driven world, there is increasing interest in indigenous knowledge as a source of enlightenment for those who can apprehend patterns in nature and use their own bodies as sources of healing.

The Maya healers have a close relationship with the natural and spiritual worlds – their lives are bound up with its extraordinary landscape - the lake, its winds and the mist that rings its volcanoes.

Over ten years’ time, Antmann photographed the indigenous healers, bone setters, and shamans struggling to keep traditional practices alive in the aftermath of Guatemala's devastating civil war. Drawing on dreams, intuition and ancient traditions, they heal the sick surrounded by family and friends. She was privileged to be included in these intense, intimate healings and to listen to their words—the stories and dreams of these healers and shamans. Thirty years ago, such ceremonies would have triggered a brutal repression. Now they are part of a proud resurgent Maya identity.

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Publisher: Nirala Publications, New Delhi, India 2017
Photographs and Text: Fran Antmann

Preface: Carolina Escobar Sarti, Guatemalan journalist, and poet

Afterword: Jean Franco, Columbia University, professor emerita

Photo Editor: Nina Berman

Design: Astrid Lewis Reedy

Hardcover: 192 pages

Size: 10” wide X 10.5” high

Photographs: 100 Black and white images

Printing Specifications: Duotone

All books are signed.

"Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams" is a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts. Fiscal sponsorship allows individual artists to expand their fundraising capabilities using NYFA's 501c3 tax-exempt status.

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“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 photojournalist. 

This book of beautiful photographs and text awakens wonder and curiosity and also informs. Years in the making, a labor of conviction and love—Fran Antmann has given us all an extraordinary gift.

— Francisco Goldman, author