This study examines literature from the Mayan communities of Chiapas, with some discussion of Chicana/o literature in the United States provided for comparison. Through the analysis I will show how connection to place has given the Mayan Chiapan literature a firmer sense of identity, while displacement has contributed to the ever-searching nature of the Mexican-American identity. My first chapter considers available folklore representing the most traditional literature from each of the two cultures. Chapter Two looks at literature reflecting the changing society, whether as an observational reaction or as a voice in the process to make change happen. The third chapter considers the direct and indirect effects on literature of the Zapatista movement in Chiapas as compared to the Chicano movement in the United States. In exploring how the modern Mayans remain connected to their roots, largely by virtue of remaining in the same general geographical location for over a thousand years, I examine how this sense of connectedness comes through, from their origin stories that emphasize the importance of the cultivation of corn, to recent literature demonstrating resistance to the forces of globalization that threaten to take away their land. By contrast, Chicano literature tends to focus on a longing for roots, a sense that part of their identity is lost, and they must now find a place where they can reconnect the past with the present. Issues addressed include the communal nature of the indigenous cosmovision, as well as the Mayan tendency to accept fantastical notions as another level of reality. I also consider how Mayan women specifically have used literature to challenge some aspects of tradition while validating others. The thesis includes many sources for indigenous literature, some of the chief ones being the Cuentos y relatos indi_genas series of folk stories, the "Incantations" of Taller Len ateros, and the plays of Sna Jtz'ibajom and La FOMMA. For Chicano literature I rely more on critics, including Jose E. Limo n on corridos, Juan Bruce-Novoa on Chicano movement literature, Gloria Anzuldu a on feminist themes, and Yolanda Broyles-Gonza lez on theater.