Universiteit Leiden

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Omar Aguilar Sanchez

Guest PhD candidate

O. Aguilar Sanchez
+31 71 527 2727


Omar Aguilar Sánchez’s main scholarly interests are cultural memory, archaeology and history, pictorial manuscripts, colonial maps, living heritage and language of the People of the Rain. His research is interdisciplinary and he uses linguistics, archaeological, historical, iconography, anthropological and pedagogical tools to analyze the Mixtec historical-cultural heritage.

He is studying the Ñuu Savi cultural heritage in terms of the cultural continuity  and he’s reintegrating the cultural memory through to link up present (language, oral literature, ceremonial discourses, rituals and the daily life) and past (literature mixtec 16th century, colonial maps, manuscripts and archaeological data) to understand the cultural values and symbolism of the People of the Rain. All this is in line with the principles of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), a Post-colonial framework and decolonizing methodologies.

Aguilar’s PhD research project is titled “Ñuhun Ñuu Savi: Land and language as cultural heritage of the People of the Rain”. His research focuses on understanding the symbolic stratigraphy of the land (through time) from the worldview of the People of the Rain, by studying contemporary cultural heritage in communities of the Mixtec Highlands.

Curriculum vitae

Aguilar is a Mixtec researcher. He belongs from the Mixtec People or Ñuu Savi People (People or Nation of the Rain), one of the Indigenous Peoples of southern Mexico. He is archaeologist at the National School of Anthropology and History (México). Recipient of a special recognition (Honorific Mention) of the Prize “Alfonso Caso” of the Annual National INAH Awards 2016 (the most important and prestigious prize in México in Archeology) for best Licenciatura’s dissertation in Archaeology. Currently, Aguilar is PhD candidate in the Sustainable Humanities Program, Faculty of Archaeology & Faculty of Humanities (Leiden University).

He has done academic stays in Leiden University (The Netherlands), Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut (Germany) and the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (Mexico). Aguilar has attended and give lectures in international congresses in America and Europe. Since 2014 he has given lectures to the civil society, authorities and students of the communities of Ñuu Savi to disseminate his results as part of his commitment with his people, culture and language. Aguilar has published three academic articles in Spanish and he has collaborated in four Europeans projects.

Guest PhD candidate

  • Faculteit Archeologie
  • Archaeological Heritage
  • Heritage of Indigenous Peoples

Work address

Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number B209



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