Information on glyph workshops

Dear Friends of the Maya supporters.

I recently came across this old correspondence from our colleague Antonio Cuxil, and even though it is two years old, I think is important to publish it on our newsletter/blog because it reflects the hard work and successes of Antonio, Lolmay, and Hector, three or our FoM colleagues who are spreading the word on reading glyphs in the Mayan-speaking communities.

Bruce Love

The following is a lightly-edited copy of the letter Sue Glenn and I received from Antonio Cuxil in August, 2008:

Guatemala, August 13 2008.

Dear Sue and Bruce;

I want to send both of you the best wishes at home and work from the Mayas of Guatemala. It has been a while since we have had any communication, but I have a couple of things to tell you to keep you informed.

First, when we came back from the Maya Meetings in Austin, we took seriously the organization of the Epigraphy Workshop in Antigua this year. Lolmay, Hector, Antonio, and Saq´chen (through a Government organization called CODISRA), The PLFM, and some others, organized the Introductory Glyphs Workshop as well as the Intermediate and Advanced. I have to say that it was a really great and successful experience.

In order to give more Mayas the opportunity to participate, we decided to organize the Introductory Glyph Workshops in three different area: Solola near Lake Atitlan, Coban in the north, and Huehuetenango in the western Highlands.

a)     22-23 May, 2008, at the University of del Valle in Solola, there was Lolmay, Hector Xol and Antonio Cuxil. We had a group of 35 from different areas of the Highlands. We had Kak’chiquel, K’iche’, Tz´utuhil, and some Ixil speakers. In the University of Del Valle Solola, there is a great exposition about Tikal made by the University of Pennsylvania, and I (Antonio Cuxil) took advantage of giving the participants an overview of the Site of Tikal in relation with epigraphy.

b)    29-30 May, 2008, at Coban, there was Hector Xol and Antonio Cuxil. We had 25 participants including Q’eq’chi, Poqomchi, Achi and Qanjobal speakers. Together with Hector Xol we decided to invite the group of participants to visit the Museum of Principe Maya in Coban, in order to look at glyphs on a real tablet. We viewed the Cancuen Panel and talked about its history. Just after returning on May 30, Antonio Cuxil was interviewed by a TV program called “Al filo de la Noche” on Channel 3 in order to talk about the workshops and scholarships provided by CODISRA. The idea was to provide scholarships to the participants who showed the most interest in order to participate in the next levels. We did that for all three workshops and intermediate as well.

c)      In June, the third workshop was given by Hector Xol in Huehuetenango.

After we concluded the first phase of the workshops, we did the selection of the participants for the intermediate-level workshop. It was organized by Hector Xol with the assistance of Judith Maxwell and was given in Guatemala City. At that point they made the selection for the next step, which was the Advanced Workshop in July when Dr. Nikolai Grube came to Antigua in order to talk about the Codices of Dresden, Madrid and Paris.

From July 14 to July 18, Nikolai Grube gave the workshop during the whole week and we had actually two groups of participants; the group that was sponsored and organized by us, CODISRA and the PLFM, and also participants who participated in an introductory workshop organized by OKMA. For the main seminar we had about 60 people.

Taking advantage of Nikolai Grube’s presence, we also organized a lecture in Benque Viejo near the border of Guatemala and Belize. I asked Nikolai if it would be possible to organize a lecture for the tour guides of Peten and also the students of archaeology at the university in Peten. He accepted, so I requested him to talk about the “Hiatus in Tikal”, which is a period not very known and he prepared a lecture about that topic. I organized it for July 31 at night. It was a very interesting lecture and discussion and we had about 60 participants.

So that is some of the things that we have been doing and I think we will have more to do. We will stay in touch and if you have any new information let me know about it and thank you very much for your support in bringing us to the Maya Meetings in Austin.


Antonio Cuxil


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