7 Ajaw 3 Kej (November 10, 2016): Ojer Maya Tz’iib’ and Rub’ajnikil Tinamït Kaqchikel

7 Ajaw 3 Kej

7 Ajaw 3 Kej. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

Dear Friends and Supporters,

This month, Ajpub’ Pablo Garcia reports back to us about the excellent workshop he organized on Ancient Maya Writing for young Kaqchiquel and K’iche’ Maya leaders from villages surrounding Lake Atitlán.

In this time of uncertain change, I want our Maya friends to know that we continue to encourage and support them, and we hope to be able to once again initiate our next funding period for Mini-grants after exploring various funding strategies. In the meantime, we will be reporting back from the various workshops from our previous funding cycle.

All the best,
Michael Grofe, President

Workshop Report
Ojer Maya Tz’iib’ and Rub’ajnikil Tinamït Kaqchikel
Loq’olaj Q’ij Waq’i Kame’ Chuqa’ Wuqu’ Kej
(October 27 and 28, 2016)
by Ajpub’ Pablo García, Maya’ Tz’utujiil Winaq


Tz’oloy Ya’, the name of the municipality of the departmental head, has 16 municipalities on the shores of Lake Atitlán. The communities are made up of K’iche’, Tz’utujiil and Kaqchikel. This first workshop on Ojer Maya Tz’iib’ (Ancient Maya Writing) and Rub’ajnikil Maya’ Tinamït Kaqchikel was coordinated with the Indigenous Municipality of the Municipality of Tz’oloj Ya’. The young participants are leaders in their villages and hamlets, and each of them was selected by the same authorities of these communities. Reference was made to the profile of the participants and their active participation in their community regarding support in the search for protection of their territory and their identity. This workshop was held at the facilities of the Old Wheat Mill, a place dating back approximately 125 years, where we were kindly given space to partake of the Loq’olaj Ruwach’ulew (Nature). Continue reading

6 Ajaw 3 Yax (October 1, 2016): Report from Chichicastenango

5 Ajaw 3 Yax. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

3 Ajaw 3 Yax. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

We have just begun to hear back from some of the recipients of this year’s Mini-grants, and we feature below the report received from Iyaxel Ixkan Cojti Ren and the Sak Chuwen Group in Chichicastenango, who, together with archaeology student Leonardo Garcia, held an introductory epigraphy workshop for K’iche’ and Q’anjob’al speakers at the Rossbach Museum in Chichicastenango, Guatemala on September 17-18. Iyaxel has provided some wonderful photos of the event, along with a detailed report and helpful feedback about future events. Congratulations to Iyaxel, and thank you for the wonderful work you are doing in your community!

We also wanted to congratulate Daniela Esther Cano Chan from Maní, Yucatan for being awarded the very last Mini-grant of the season! We were not able to include this award at the time of the publication of the last blog.

In addition, this week Alfonso Escobedo, Sue Glenn, Nick Hopkins, Al Meador, Beth Spencer and Karon Winzenz from MAM will be present at the 10th Annual Maya at the Playa Conference in Palm Coast, Florida, held from September 29 to October 2. The organizers have generously allowed for MAM to have a table at the event, along with posters and descriptions of our work. For more information, please see: http://www.mayaattheplaya.com/

We look forward to posting more updates as we hear back from this year’s grantees and the many workshops being held throughout the remainder of the year. Stay tuned, and as we plan our fundraising strategy, we hope to be able to fund additional workshops in the near future!

Michael Grofe, President


Location: Rossbach Museum, Chichicastenango
Date: September 17 and 18
Participants: 22 people
Hours: 8 am to 4 pm
Responsible: Iyaxel Cojti, Sak Group Chuwen and Leonardo Garcia, a student of archeology. Continue reading

5 Ajaw 3 Mol (August 22, 2016): ¡Felicitaciones!

5 Ajaw 8 Mol. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

5 Ajaw 3 Mol. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

Congratulations to the most recent recipients of our MAM Mini-Grants this season!!!

Following the successful Congreso in May, we are pleased to be able to award Mini-Grants to the following individuals and the communities that they support. Our twelve recipients serve eleven communities, speaking over eight Mayan languages, and spanning three countries in the Mundo Maya.

MAM 2016 Mini-Grants Map Continue reading

4 Ajaw 3 Xul (July 13, 2016): U Yok Habil

4 Ajaw 3 Xul. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

4 Ajaw 3 Xul. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

Let me take this opportunity to announce that our blogs will now follow a schedule of every two winals or 40 days, so that the day Ajaw will remain the same, while the number of the day will advance by one. Floyd Lounsbury noted that the Jakaltek Maya refer to this as the “Steps of the Year” or U Yok Habil. Today’s date is 4 Ajaw 3 Xul, while the subsequent blog will follow on 5 Ajaw 3 Mol, August 22, followed by 6 Ajaw 3 Yax on October 1, etc. This gives us an easy progression to follow, while allowing ample time for our colleagues to report back from the field.

Today, the auspicious day of 4 Ajaw commemorates the same Tzolk’in day of the Long Count Era Base on 4 Ajaw 8 Kumk’u, mentioned with reverence throughout the inscriptions of the Classic Period as a day of renewal. Continue reading

10 Ajaw 3 Sek (June 23, 2016): Maltiox, Yum Bo’otik, and Gracias de Corazon

10 Ajaw 3 Sek. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

10 Ajaw 3 Sek. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

As the newly inaugurated president of MAM, this will be my first blog posting, and I wanted to begin by thanking all of our many donors for their generous contributions to help support the Tercer Congreso International de Escritura Jeroglífica Maya. It was a great honor to attend the Congreso last month, and I was especially moved to meet and become friends with so many Maya people who are doing such wonderful work.

Ojer Maya Tz'ib' banner

Ojer Maya Tz’ib’ banner

They are all incredibly grateful for the work we do on their behalf at MAM, and they were very welcoming and hopeful about the future. I was honored not only with the passing of the Jade Celt from Bruce Love—a beautiful replica of the Leiden Plaque—but also with a beautiful stela made by Miguel Jiménez Guzmán, and so many good wishes and congratulations. Continue reading

9 Ajaw 3 Sip (May 14, 2016): Farewell Address

9 Ajaw 3 Sip. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

9 Ajaw 3 Sip. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

Dear Readers,

As I compose my last blog and prepare to pass the presidential mantle of MAM, you will forgive me if I wax a little personal.

In 1968, I read that the “Maya Race” was descended from the lost continent of Atlantis, and I believed it. In 1973, I read of extraterrestrial visitations to Mesoamerica in The Chariots of the Gods, and I believed it. While rough-necking on oil platforms in the North Sea, I visited the British Museum and bought Eric Thompson’s Maya Hieroglyphs Without Tears and Michael Coe’s The Maya and dreamed of visiting the ancient cities, so I did.

In 1974, my wife and I and our two-year-old son left California in a four-wheel-drive with diving gear to search for Atlantis and we spent six months in Yucatan and Belize, visiting Guatemala and Oaxaca and many other points in between. I didn’t find Atlantis but I did find Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Tikal and so much more, and so in 1975, back in California, I went back to school as an undergrad at UCLA, majored in Anthropology, and began my academic career where they educated all that Atlantis and extra-terrestrial stuff out of me (for the most part).

In 1975, I was on my first dig at Rio Amarillo in Honduras. Glyphs have always been my focus, but happily my work includes ethnography and history. I recall quite vividly receiving a very powerful intuitional message while working on my dissertation, I think in 1984, “bring the glyphs back to the Mayas.” It rocked me.

The author in 1975, Rio Amarillo, Honduras

The author in 1975, Rio Amarillo, Honduras

Continue reading

2 Ajaw 3 Wo (April 24, 2016): One winal to go!

2 Ajaw 3 Wo. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

2 Ajaw 3 Wo. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

One winal to go!

For any of our readers who might possibly not know what a winal is, it is a twenty-day period in the Maya calendar. You may have noticed that all our blogs occur on the day Ajaw, the twentieth day of a cycle of twenty days (the “j” in Ajaw is pronounced as in Spanish, with an “h” sound, so Ajaw sounds like “a how” as in “how are you?”) Today’s blog, on 2 Ajaw, is twenty days before the end of our fund-raising drive, which also marks the opening day of the Third International Congress of Maya Epigraphers, on 9 Ajaw.

Here is the invitation from the organizers:

Invitation designed by the Maya organizers of the Maya Congress

To spur interest in our campaign we are announcing a new perk, a 25-minute video of the late, famous Linda Schele, one of the founding mothers of teaching Mayas the glyphs. Go to https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/maya-revival–2 to make the contribution. Continue reading

8 Ajaw 3 Pop (April 4, 2016): A Direct Appeal

8 Ajaw 3 Pop. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

8 Ajaw 3 Pop. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

For today’s blog, at the half-way mark in our 80-day campaign, we hear directly from one of the congress organizers, Ajpub’ García (pictured in red, below).

Advanced team at 2012 Valladolid congress, from left to right: Waykan Benito, Maya Poqomam; Ajpub’ García, Maya Ts’utujiil; Clement Peneleu, Maya Ts’utujiil; Hector Xol, Maya Q’eqchi’; Antonio Cuxil (hands on table, lower left), Maya Kaqchikel.

Advanced team at 2012 Valladolid congress, from left to right: Waykan Benito, Maya Poqomam; Ajpub’ García, Maya Ts’utujiil; Clement Peneleu, Maya Ts’utujiil; Hector Xol, Maya Q’eqchi’; Antonio Cuxil (hands on table, lower left), Maya Kaqchikel.

Dear friends, lovers of Ojer Maya Tz’ib (ancient Maya writing), rutzil iwach (greetings);

We continue on the saq b’e (resplendent road), learning and reclaiming the ancient Maya writing.

Our ancestral writing, calendar, and astronomy have much yet to be discovered by our sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters. We need to recapture this knowledge now so we can pass it on to future generations.

To this end, we are organizing the Third International Congress of Ojer Maya Tz’ib’ (Ancient Maya Writing). If there is any possibility, we need your support, dear friends, to make this event a reality, no matter how much you can donate.

Today we tap on your door for the sake of Ojer Maya Tz’ib (Ancient Maya Writing), that it may follow its path in the four cardinal directions.

Until then, a thousand thank yous for your support,

Ajpub’ García Ixmatá, Maya Ts’utujiil

Click on the link: https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/maya-revival–2

7 Ajaw 8 K’ayab’ (Feburary 24, 2016): Maya Revival II

7 Ajaw 8 K'ayab. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

7 Ajaw 8 K’ayab’. Drawing by Jorge Pérez de Lara.

“ ‘A people without history is like a tree without roots,’ goes the famous saying. This is precisely what epigraphy signifies for the Maya people.” Antonio Cuxil, Maya Kaqchikel, Co-organizer of the 2016 Congress of Maya Epigraphers.

Dear readers;

We used the above quote in 2012 when we at MAM launched our new web site with our new name and logo, and this saying has not lost its power (see 9 Ajaw 8 Pax, February 5, 2012).

Today, four years and 19 days later, we announce to you the Third International Congress of Maya Epigraphers (2012 Valladolid, Yucatan; 2014 Ocosingo, Chiapas; 2016 El Remate/Tikal, Petén, Guatemala) to be held on May 14-20, 2016.

If you click on this link https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/maya-revival–2 you will go to the Generosity crowd-funding campaign, where the video tells our story.

Like the crowd-funding we did in 2014 to support the Second International Congress of Maya Epigraphers, we prepared a video to promote our mission. In 2014 we called it Maya Revival, and since it was successful, we call this one Maya Revival II.

You can all help us by going to the Facebook and Twitter share buttons and spreading the word, or simply notifying friends and colleagues the old-fashioned way, by e-mail.

Thank you in advance for your loyal support. We look forward to telling you our progress toward our goal in our next blog in twenty days.

Bruce Love, President
MAM (Mayas for Ancient Mayan; Maya Antiguo para los Mayas)


Ana Elizabeth López Ramírez, leader in the Mam Maya linguistic community and day-keeper (diviner, spiritual leader, and interpreter of the contemporary Maya calendar). With the Madrid Codex calendar projected on the screen, Ana López writes the matching contemporary calendar on the white board, a calendar used in daily life.


The intensity and absorption in this girl’s eyes show the positive effect of our mini-grant program as she painstakingly copies the glyph “pu” to write her surname Puc. Popol Naj workshop, Tizimin, Yucatán, led by MAM colleague Ana Patricia Martínez Huchim.

Click here to see the video and visit our campaign!