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Artwork pieces inspired in the Quechua culture, by artist Ana Lucia Soncco, of Cusco, Perú. Photo: AL DÍA News/ Lilia Ayllón

Literatura Oral Episode 8: Katatay

Professor Americo Mendoza Mori shares a poem from Peruvian writer José María Arguedas.

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In this week’s episode of Literatura Oral, Americo Mendoza Mori, professor of Quechua and Spanish at the University of Pennsylvania, talks with Deputy Editor Emily Neil about a poem from a book titled Katatay, by Peruvian writer José María Arguedas.[ad]

A native of Peru, Mendoza Mori always believed that it was important to learn about his roots, especially the language of his ancestors. He also talks about how Quechua is the most spoken indigenous language, with more than 10 million people speaking the language today. And even though it isn't as widely acknowledged for its oral storytelling tradition and literature, many of the words we know come from the language, for example, the name Tupac, which means "the gatherer". Listen as Mendoza Mori teaches us a new perspective of Latin American literature.

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