Sánchez Avendaño, Carlos

    Universidad de Costa Rica 


    Linguist. Professor and researcher at the University of Costa Rica. His work involves documentation and revitalization of indigenous languages in Costa Rica, as well as the linguistic and sociolinguistic effects of language contact. He is the author of more than 50 academic articles and three books.



    To ensure the future, bequeathing the memory of a painful event: The war between the Malecus and the huleros in the 19th century depicted in a graphic novel

    At the end of the 19th century, the territory of the malecus was invaded by rubber tappers who wanted to extract the rubber that was abundant in the north of Costa Rica, given the growing international demand of this raw material. The malecus resisted and defended their habitat with all their might, but the unequal fighting nearly brought them to extinction: they were persecuted, enslaved, harassed, and murdered for two decades. This genocide has been described in many academic papers. However, the malecu perspective of what had happened had not been collected, nor published, even when the existence of a rich oral tradition about the topic was known. In the current context of accelerated language displacement and other aspects of the malecu culture, that are conceived as threats to the their ethnocultural continuity, we were insisted to create some materials about it, with the purpose of informing the new generations of what had happened, of how their ancestors had fought with zeal and why they should feel proud of being alive as a group more than a century later, despite all the grievous events. As a result of this concern, we documented the oral tradition on the subject and created three resources: a book with full interviews, a graphic novel, and an audiobook. The presentation is about the elaboration process of these materials with a special emphasis on the graphic novel.