Valladolid 2010

Valladolid workshop with Crisanto and Patricia

by Bruce Love

In May, 2010, I gave a workshop in Valladolid, Yucatán, at the invitation of FoM colleague Crisanto Kumul. Attending were “high school” students from Crisanto’s home town of Siisbicch’en and university students from UNO (Universidad del Oriente), all speakers of Mayat’aan (Yucateco). The setting was perfect, in an old converted hacienda on the northern outskirts of town. FoM colleague Patricia Martínez Huchim from nearby Tizimin assisted.

The workbook gave an introduction to the Maya calendar and the Maya Codices. When I called for a break the students would not leave their seats. Instead they used the opportunity to really get into it with the other students.
Here the assignment is to find the distance numbers in the Yaxchilan hieroglyphic stairway One of Crisanto’s students, María de los Angeles Couo Uc, demonstrated a set of calendar wheels she had invented which she could use to recreate any Calendar Round date by adjusting the Haab and Tsolk’in names and numbers.
The inner two wheels are the Tsolk’in and the outer two are the Haab.
Since we were studying Calendar Round dates, I challenged María to recreate one of the CRs from Yaxchilan, 1 Ajaw 13 Xul; which she did.
During one of the breaks, Patricia shared Maya calendars from Guatemala. She brought these from the PLFM weekend that we had in Antigua in March of the same year. One of the greatest satisfactions of our work is witnessing the interchange between Maya groups that may not otherwise get a chance to connect.
In the end, as always, a sense of well-being and a spirit of celebration permeated the air, as once again, the living Maya seem so intent on digging into their own past and reading their ancestors’ words in their own language!