5 Ajaw 8 Mak (December 6, 2015): Ancient Maya Writing and Calendar

11 Ajaw 8 Kej. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

11 Ajaw 8 Kej. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

Note from the President: With this blog we mark the close of our 2015 grant season and turn our attention to the 2016 planning efforts for the Third International Congress of Maya Epigraphers, hosted and organized by the Fundación Proyecto Linguistico Francisco Marroquín, or PLFM, in Antigua, Guatemala. We are proud to say we supported thirty-five grass-roots workshops this year.  We will try to put together a statistical overview of this year’s grants in a blog in the near future, with places and languages and numbers of students, etc., but for now, let us enjoy this second workshop by the team of K’anal Akpub’ and Ajpub’ García in Highland Chiapas near the Guatemala border (please see our blog 1 Ajaw 8 Sek, June 29, 2015 for the first workshop and a map).  Thank you for your attention.

Bruce Love

Ojer Maya Tz’ib’ II
By María Bertha Ajpub’ Santiz (K’anal Ajpub’)
1 Ajaw 8 Sek, June 29, 2015

Report: Ojer Maya Tz’ib’ y Calendario (Ancient Maya Writing and Calendar), October 27-28, 2015

Again, my thanks to the foundation Mayas for Ancient Mayan, for continued support of the promotion of knowledge, with small financial contributions, to carry out and conduct these workshops with our Maya brothers and sisters.

Certainly many people are beginning to give importance to ojer tz’ib, ancient writing, and are eager to continue working with it. Here is an example, the young people who attended these workshops, which are now from two communities, keen for this learning. We are certain that at this rate, in the future we will have successfully trained workshop leaders to further expand these workshops teaching people. For this reason, I am very grateful to you men and women of MAM, for this help. It truly is a great support to us, the Tojol-ab’ales.

To revive the knowledge of our ancestors, listening and learning with my fellow Tojola-ab’ales, provides moments of reflection and the motivation to continue in spite of the many provocations against us by many other Western cultures. So it is a pleasure for me that, through you the people of MAM, I am supporting my brothers and sisters.

These activities were carried out on October 27 and 28 in the community B’ahuitz Rosario (Place of the Hills), in the municipality of Margaritas, Chiapas, Mexico, with the pupils and students of the Escuela Telesecundaria Emilio Rabasa Estebanell, and the community of Veracruz, also in the municipality of Las Margaritas, with students from different schools and with support for these workshops from the community authorities as well as parents.

Also a big thank you to our brother Ajpub Pablo García for his great collaboration, giving his time to come to support and promote the Ojer Maya Tz’ib’ (Maya epigraphy) in the communities of Tojol-ab’al speakers in Chiapas, continuing to share his knowledge and by doing so, raising awareness and self-reflection, regaining our identity as Maya speakers.

Events of October 27

Community of Rosario Bahuitz, municipality of Las Margaritas, following up the workshop of February 28, 2015, with the same student participants (please see our blog 1 Ajaw 8 Sek, June 29, 2015).

This time working with the Mayan Calendar, to meet our objective we used the teaching material “The Maya Calendars Haab’, Tzolk’in and Long Count” as teaching aids for young Maya Tojol-ab’ales, using tools from our mother language as well as Castilian to achieve greater understanding and subsequently to count the days in the calendar.

In the first place it was necessary to know Maya numbering, the basic signs as a short introduction, then the names and appearances of the calendar days.

The days of the Tzolk’in presented by Ajpub García.

The days of the Tzolk’in presented by Ajpub García.

Student María de la Flor learning the names and the days they represent.

Student María de la Flor learning the names and the days they represent.

As said, for a better understanding of the names of the days of the Tzolk’in (Cholq’iij) calendar, it was necessary to translate the names to Maya Tojol-ab’al.

As said, for a better understanding of the names of the days of the Tzolk’in (Cholq’iij) calendar, it was necessary to translate the names to Maya Tojol-ab’al.

After learning the days, as an exercise the students began to read the days in the calendar.

After learning the days, as an exercise the students began to read the days in the calendar.

Working the exercise gave results like this, as presented by the youths of the community of Rosario Bahuitz.

Working the exercise gave results like this, as presented by the youths of the community of Rosario Bahuitz.

Events of October 28
Place: Community of Veracruz, Municipio of Las Margaritas, Chiapas

One of the objectives with this group of young people was that they know the ways of our ancestral writing so that later they can write names of animals, objects, places, or any other information with the Maya writing, and above all to raise their awareness and to claim it as their own.

In this activity we used as course material “OjerMayaTz’ib’, Ancient Writing”, to help students understand and to facilitate their work. The following points were developed: the Mesoamerican cosmology and territorial spaces, which currently housethe Mayan cities. Likewise, they were presented the dynamics of the current Mayan languages and linguistic branches that the Mayan languages come from, and as a main theme, the syllabary and the different forms of writing, logograms that represent complete words, word formation, how to form sounds nonexistent in the syllabary, signs that can be easily confused,etc.

Present during the workshop were young people from different educational institutions in the region, women and men, all speakers of Maya Tojol-ab’al. The following activities are presented here.

Here we see a student reviewing in detail the syllabary.

Here we see a student reviewing in detail the syllabary.

After learning the history of the Maya languages and the writing on some of the stelae that were presented, and the reading of syllabograms, and the forms of writing, they began the exercise of writing names that each student wrote with the help of the syllabary.

After learning the history of the Maya languages and the writing on some of the stelae that were presented, and the reading of syllabograms, and the forms of writing, they began the exercise of writing names that each student wrote with the help of the syllabary.

Ajpub’ García helping with the exercises.

Ajpub’ García helping with the exercises.

K’anal Ajpub’ helping with the exercise of writing names.

K’anal Ajpub’ helping with the exercise of writing names.

Some results.

Some results.

A student very excited about writing with the syllabary and sharing the importance of reclaiming this kind of knowledge.

A student very excited about writing with the syllabary and sharing the importance of reclaiming this kind of knowledge.

Participants and teachers. Thank you Ajpub’, for your kind collaboration.

Participants and teachers. Thank you Ajpub’, for your kind collaboration.

And so was concluded the teaching of Ancient Maya Writing (Maya Epigraphy) and the calendar in two communities in the municipality of Las Margaritas, Chiapas, Mexico.

TS’AKATALEX TSOME ATIJUM
MAYAS FOR ANCIENT MAYAN

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