2 Ajaw 18 Ch’en (September 26, 2017): Creativity, Calendrics, and the Maya Script throughout the Mundo Maya

2 Ajaw 18 Ch’en. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

Our hearts go out to our friends in Chiapas, Mexico City, the United States and the Caribbean who have been dealing with the devastation and aftermath of the multiple earthquakes and hurricanes, and to all of those affected by these tragedies. Due to the earthquake in Chiapas, the Pre-Congreso event scheduled for September 23-25 has had to be postponed until November, and we wish all the best to our Maya colleagues for a rapid recovery and a successful event.

This month, I have decided to highlight four of our mini-grant recipients since we have received so many reports back from the field this year, and I would like to celebrate as many of our mini-grant recipients as I can. These workshops, which took place in Chiapas, Yucatan, and Guatemala, are an excellent representation of the range of projects made possible by the generous support of our donors. Immersed in the use of the Maya hieroglyphic script and the calendar, students in these workshops throughout the Mundo Maya produced beautiful works of art, while also learning to read, write and perform calendrical calculations in the writing system of their ancestors.

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Batz’i kolaval,
Yum bo’otik,
Sib’alaj maltiyoox,
Gracias de Corazon,
Michael J. Grofe, President

Introduction to the Mayan Hieroglyphic Script in Oxchujk, Chiapas

Martín Gómez Kontsal

Working with a group of 25 Tzeltal students from the Universidad Intercultural de Chiapas, together with the Casa de Cultura, Martín Gómez Kontsal led a workshop on the history and origins of Maya writing in June of 2017, with the objective of having the students understand and use the Maya script for the purposes of writing in contemporary Tzeltal. Working in teams, the students were thoroughly instructed on the use of the Maya syllabary, and they produced beautiful, large, full-color glyph blocks for each of the family lineage names that originate in Oxchujk. Martín plans to lead another similar workshop for primary school children in Oxchujk in the near future.

Martín reports:

To identify, treasure, and transmit the codes that make up our original culture, threatened by national culture and globalization, are some of the main tasks that writers and researchers must fulfill.

“Working in teams is derived from the concept of community, our community.”

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