Paula Nicho Cumez

Paula Nicho Cumez was born in an indigenous Mayan community in Guatemala which suffered extreme violence during the civil war years.  She draws inspiration for her paintings from the women in her life, her Mayan heritage and culture, and from her dreams.  Through her artistic gifts and determination, she has broken new ground for indigenous Mayan women.( )

 "My story begins in San Juan Comalapa on January 15, 1955. One of ten children, I grew up in a hard working family. My father was a farmer, my mother a weaver. She taught us the art of weaving, as she wanted us to know a craft in addition to what we learned in school."( )

 "From the time I was a child, I had a great liking for the arts. In school contests, I always took one of the top places in drawing or painting. It was my grandfather, Francisco Cúmez, who motivated me to sign up for painting and drawing classes. He was a sculptor and saw something in me that he encouraged.( )

 "My inspiration comes from many sources – our native women, my culture, my town, my life and the sacred Maya book, the Popol Vuh. Most of my ideas come to me in dreams."( )

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