Birth of MAM
Beginning in 2004, spearheaded by enthusiast Sue Glenn, a call went out to renew efforts to bring Maya colleagues to the annual Maya Meetings in Austin.
In 2005, we held our first meeting as a group, calling ourselves Friends of the Maya Meetings.
Our core group of supporters included Beth Spencer, Al Meador, Karon Winzenz, Nick Hopkins, Kathryn Josserand, Lloyd Anderson, Bea Koch, Cheyenne Spetzler, Greg Reddick and others (I apologize to those I have not mentioned). That year we sponsored Maya colleagues Lolmay García and Antonio Cuxil to the meetings in Texas.
By 2006 we were able to sponsor ten Maya attendees from Mexico and Guatemala and helped others with invitations that aided in their visa applications.
In 2007 we changed our name to Friends of the Maya and established our tax exempt status as we saw that our mission might go beyond just the meetings in Texas. That same year we sponsored 12 participants in Austin.
In 2008 we reached thirteen.
The year 2009 marked a watershed event at the Maya Meetings in Texas. Eight of our sponsored attendees presented their own papers to the general audience in a special session lasting an entire afternoon.
In 2010 Friends of the Maya co-sponsored a workshop in Antigua at Proyecto Linguistico Francisco Marroquin attended by 70 Maya-speaking participants. It became clear that bringing workshops to the Mayas was much more effective than bringing Mayas to workshops.
In 2012, Friends of the Maya reinvented itself with a new name, MAM, a new logo, a new web page, a new executive committee, and a new mission “Mayas teaching Mayas the Glyphs and the Calendar,” providing cash grants and digital projectors for glyph workshops conducted by the Mayas themselves and sponsoring international congresses for Maya epigraphers.
2012 marked the first International Congress of Maya Epigraphers held in Valladolid, Yucatán.
In 2013 we financially supported numerous workshops in Maya-speaking communities and continued our policy of distributing digital projectors to workshop leaders.
Now in 2014 we are witness to our grandest undertaking yet, 110 Mayas from 4 countries at the Second International Congress of Maya Epigraphers in Ocosingo, Chiapas; and the teachers are Mayas!
Rebirth of MAM
Announcement: We are planning our own demise!
Now that we have grown and matured we are looking forward to a graceful disappearing act. Over the next two years we will dissolve into our next incarnation, into the spirit world of Maya epigraphy led by the Mayas themselves. The congress in 2016 will be the last one sponsored by MAM, after which we turn it over into the hands of our Maya colleagues. That is our goal and that is our end: Mayas teaching Mayas the glyphs and the calendar.
In 2016 the Third International Congress of Maya Epigraphers will be held in Guatemala, coming full circle: from 2010 at PLFM in Antigua, Guatemala; 2012 in Valladolid, Yucatán; 2014 in Ocosingo, Chiapas; and 2016 back in Guatemala (a counter-clockwise ritual circle covering the Maya world).
Difficult to say at this time how our transfiguration will look; let us witness it together as our Maya colleagues create the future of Maya epigraphy, a future in which the spirit of MAM will always live.