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All results for tag “maya”
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The codices of ancient and colonial Mexico Ronald A. Barnett ©

Extract of page 2 of the Codex Colombino, depicting a Mesoamerican ballgame
How do we really know what happened in ancient Mexico before the arrival of the Spaniards and the introduction of writing? To get an idea how the Indians actually viewed these events we must turn to the pictorial and "written" manuscripts or codices produced by the people themselves. The codices themselves were generally in the form of long strips of native paper (amatl) or sized deerskin folded up into the shape of a moderate sized book, hence the name codex. Others were originally produced in book format. read more

Western Mexico: A Traveler's Treasury, 4th edition James Tipton

Western Mexico, A Traveler's Treasury by Tony Burton
As Tony notes in his Introduction, this is "not intended to b a comprehensive guide to all the possible day trips and longer tours in the region…. Rather, it is a personal, idiosyncratic collection of my favorite places in Western Mexico…." The book is filled with whatever Tony finds fascinating… interesting and curious details of history and geography and geology and flora and fauna, and art and architecture and archaeology.... read more

Mesoamerican epic poetry and saga: What is epic? Ronald A. Barnett ©

Coba in Yucatan, an ancient Maya city
© Roger Cunningham, 2013
Heroic type epics focus on a main hero, and epic themes may also include shamanism where the hero relies as much on magic as on personal resources.

To what extent Nahuatl epic corresponds to this type of epic literature remains to be seen. read more

2012: Prophecies of the Maya Calendar Allan Wall

Detail of glyphs and numerals. Detaille de glifos y numeros.

Is it true the world will end in 2012? Is the ancient Maya prophecy true? What exactly is supposed to occur on December 21, 2012? Does the Maya calendar really predict a cataclysmic event on that date?

read more

Magnificent Maya ruins in Mexico Marvin West

El Castillo pyramid in Chichen Itza
On our first serious visit to Mexico, back in the old days, the touristy thing to do, after Cancun, was to catch a bus, take a tour, or rent a Volkswagen bug, drive to Chichen Itza and scale the magnificent pyramid, El Castillo, featured attraction at the most famous Maya ruins in the Yucatan. Back then, climbing the pyramid was permitted and it was an awesome experience. read more

Hanal Pixan, Maya Day of the Dead in Pac Chen, Quintana Roo Jane Ammeson

The monkeys, they tell me, are asleep in a cave across the lagoon. But other than that disappointment, my trip to Pac Chen, a micro sized Maya village in the jungle of the Yucatan Peninsula, is the per... read more

The Peoples of Mexico Index Page

Mexico is a country of colour, diversity, grand differences in geography, climate and perspective. The same is true of her people. From the mysterious origins and fates of her earliest inhabitants; th... read more

Temples of the Mist: Mayan 6th Sun Reviewed by James Tipton

Temples of the Mist: Mayan 6th Sun
Seventeen-year-old Caleana's parents go to Mexico to camp out in the jungle near the Palenque ruins, but in the jungle mist the pilot of their small plane loses control and crashes. The father — a gifted archaeologist — is killed and possibly the mother, although because the mother's body had not been found, no one is sure.
Uncle Aiden, Aunt Bette, Caleana and her brother fly back to identify the body of their father, and while there Aunt Bette takes the children to the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. Aunt Bette places in Caleana's hand "a beautiful amulet of green jade and crystals around a circle. In the middle of the circle was an ancient Mayan woman with a serpent on her head, and jaguar ears and claws." It had been found at the crash site and it was believed to be Caleana's mother's. read more

Campeche: on the edge of the Maya world John P. Schmal

Located in the southwestern portion of the Yucatán Peninsula along the Gulf of Mexico, the State of Campeche was named after the ancient Maya Kingdom of Ah Kin Pech (Canpech). For thousands of years, the Yucatec Maya has been the dominant Mayan language throughout the Yucatán Peninsula, including Campeche, Yucatán, and Quintana Roo. read more

Mesoamerican religion and multiverses: Part Two Ronald A. Barnett ©

It is generally assumed that the idea of other universes is the unique product of "post-modern" thinking based on the Theory of Relativity and quantum mechanics. But the ancient Aztecs and Maya probabl... read more

Did you know? Mayan architects built world's oldest sound recordings Tony Burton

The Pyramid of Kukulkan, Chichen Itza Photo by Tony Burton Modern sound recordings usually involve tiny disks which can hold dozens of tracks, specially designed to be easily portable an... read more

Tribute page from the Codex Mendoza Tony Burton

Tribute Page from the Codex Mendoza The tribute payable (displayed in most browsers when mouse is positioned over image) is: 2 strings of beads of jadeite, a green semi-precious stone a total of 4,0... read more

Did You Know? January's weather in Mexico forecasts the rest of the year Tony Burton

Many Mexicans, especially campesinos, who are closer to the land than most, believe that the weather during the month of January serves as a long-range forecast for the entire year. The precise predict... read more

Did You Know? Mayan pyramid in Tabasco, Mexico, has possible Roman links Tony Burton

ROMANS in Mexico? I've always tried to maintain an open-minded attitude towards history, but even I was incredulous when I first heard this suggestion. And you certainly won't find it in most history ... read more

The Books of Chilam Balam and the Trojan War of Yucatan Ronald A. Barnett ©

In writing of the Persian Wars, Herodotus, our earliest Greek historian of note, declared that his purpose in writing of the attempts by the Persian kings Darius and Xerxes to invade Greece was to ensu... read more

The Books of Chilam Balam: Part two Ronald A. Barnett ©

The Yucatecan Books of Chilam Balam, which comprise the Chumayel, Tizimin, Mani and others, are notoriously difficult to translate and interpret because of archaic or obsolete words in th... read more

The Books of Chilam Balam: Part one Ronald A. Barnett ©

The Books of Chilam Balam are indigenous Maya chronicles written in northern Yucatan during the century or so following the Spanish Conquest. The surviving texts we have are copies of the origin... read more

Evoking the ancient Maya: murals by Otoniel Baruck Sala Erin Cassin

Maya-themed murals, which fuse shards of this ancient culture with elements of fantasy, are Sala's current focus. read more

Mel Gibson's Apocalypto Maggie Van Ostrand

It's unusual for me to write about anything other than Mexico as seen through the eyes of a humorist. But this month's article is different, because someone familiar with the culture around which Gibso... read more

Primary sources of Maya history - part five Ronald A. Barnett ©

Controversy is a fact of life. Complete agreement on any subject is hardly to be expected. The study of Maya hieroglyphs is no exception. In fact, scholarly differences of opinion can be just as viciou... read more

Primary sources of Maya history - part four Ronald A. Barnett ©

In the last column we looked briefly at the history of the decipherment of the Maya hieroglyphic writing system and some of the modern myths about the ancient Maya propagated by certain popular writers... read more

Primary sources of Maya history - part two Ronald A. Barnett ©

Four major cultural areas provide us with the most extensive documentation in Mesoamerica: the Valley of Mexico (Aztec), Northern Yucatan (Lowland Maya), Western Oaxaca (Mixtec), and Guatemala (Highlan... read more
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