Since initiating our current mini-grant program (maximum $200) in January, we have approved and financed eight new workshops; some recently completed, some taking place at this printing, and some planned for the near future. We also have five additional letters of inquiry that will likely result in grants and workshops.
As the reports and pictures come in from the field, we look forward to printing them in upcoming blogs; but while waiting for the first informes to arrive, I thought it would be an interesting exercise to plot all the workshops that MAM or MAM affiliates have performed up to now, including workshops I have given on behalf of MAM and workshops by our Maya colleagues on their own behalf, in their own or nearby communities.
How gratifying to see such a wide geographical spread, and how instructive to see areas under-served such as Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco, and much of Chiapas. While it may be tempting to congratulate ourselves, better to re-energize our efforts supporting Mayas learning and teaching the glyphs and the calendar. Adelante!
11 Ajaw 13 K’ayab. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.
Dear readers, we have lingered on Santa Eulalia for some time now, this being the fourth and final blog post from there.
In the 1920s, almost a century ago, anthropologists rocked the academic world by discovering the Maya calendar still in use in the remote Cuchumatanes Mountains of Guatelmala, which of course was not news to the Mayas themselves who incorporate the tsolk’in and the year bearers in their daily lives.
Study area of the 1927 Tulane University expedition from The Year Bearer’s People (1931) by Oliver La Farge and Douglas Byer.
Oliver La Farge returned to Santa Eulalia in 1932 to focus specifically on the calendar and bring to the outside world its inner workings and the ways of the people using it. Continue reading →
The nature of Classic Maya writing was explained using examples taken directly from the stelae. This was followed by study of the calendar system, including the Long Count, the Tzolk’in (Stxolilal Q’inale’ in Q’anjob’al) and the Haab.
To better explain the calendars, exercise activities were done showing how the calendars worked. To understand the Cholq’ij (Tzolk’in) the participants formed two circles, one representing the 20 day-names and the other the numbers 1-13. The idea was the students learned how at the point where the two circles came together they were creating a single date; in effect the students themselves became a living calendar of 260 days!
An exercise to practice the numbers in Q’anjob’al directed by Igor.
Happily, the workshop took place on the day 6 Kixkab’ (No’j/Kab’an) and 7 Chinax (Tijax/Etz’nab) (December 8 and 9, 2014). The facilitators were Igor Xoyón (Maya Kaqchikel), Karina Coy (Maya Kaqchikel) and Alejandro Garay of the Sak Chuwen Group, each of whom were participants in the recent International Congress of Maya Epigraphers that took place in Ocosingo, Chiapas.
Organizers and instructors (left to right): Alejandro Garay, Kaxho, Igor Xoyon, and B’alam Sotz’.
Although the workshop took place during very cold weather (around 45 degrees F.) the atmosphere was warm and friendly due to the great interest that the almost 40 participants showed, who were constantly asking questions and seeking answers. The workshop began with a short prayer invoking the ancestor Kixkab’, to thank him for the opportunity to learn about the history of the Maya people. Continue reading →
3 Ajaw 13 K’ank’in. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.
Jolom Konob’ (Santa Eulalia) in northern Huehuetenango is one of the most important towns of the Q’anjob’al Maya nation. It is also one of the most distant points in the Highlands that one can visit from Guatemala City, more than ten hours by car in the heart of the Cuchumatanes Mountains.
View of the church and central park of Santa Eulalia.
This month we are presenting a video interview instead of our usual blog entry. John Daigle, who produces the web site http://mayaglypher.com interviewed me at the recent Maya at the Playa Meetings in Palm Coast, Florida. The interview outlines our history and our future trajectory up to the point of our dissolution in 2016.
I apologize to our Spanish-speaking colleagues that this blog is only in English, but it may be worth playing the video to see the pictures. Next month we will return to our bi-lingual format.
During three days (October 1-3 or 3 Muluk-5 Chuwen) an introductory workshop of Maya epigraphy took place for Mopan Maya in San Luis, Petén. Mopanes arrived from Petén and Belize, as well as some Q’eqchi’ speakers, altogether more than 35 participants.
The workshop was inspired by one of the groups of participants at the 2nd International Congress of Maya Epigraphers. The Mopan Mayas that attended the congress, led by the president of the Mopan Linguistic Community, Otoniel Caal, assumed the responsibility of spreading knowledge of Maya epigraphy among his colleagues from Petén and Belize. He made contact with one of the groups of teachers from the congress, the Sak Chuwen Group.
Otoniel Caal, president of the Mopan Linguistic Community, promoted the workshop in San Luis.
Approximately three years ago Aj Xol Ch’ok initiated conversations with a Ch’ol Maya friend with the idea of giving a workshop on Maya epigraphy for Maya students at the Intercultural University of Chiapas (UNICH), Mexico. Fortunately, this year the plans came to fruition, thanks to the leadership of that university.
PLFM Foundation provided an interdisciplinary team to teach Maya Tz’iib’ Antiguo (as we call it) for today’s Maya, traveling to San Cristobal de las Casas to give five days of lectures, workshops, and an archaeological site visit. The following is a summary of the event.