Download 2000 Years of Mayan Literature by Dennis Tedlock PDF

By Dennis Tedlock

Mayan literature is without doubt one of the oldest on the planet, spanning an striking millennia from deep pre-Columbian antiquity to the current day. the following, for the 1st time, is an absolutely illustrated survey, from the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions to the works of later writers utilizing the Roman alphabet. Dennis Tedlock—ethnographer, linguist, poet, and award-winning author—draws on many years of dwelling and dealing one of the Maya to gather this groundbreaking e-book, that is the 1st to regard historical Mayan texts as literature. Tedlock considers the texts chronologically. He establishes that ladies have been one of the historical writers and demanding situations the concept Mayan rulers claimed the prestige of gods. 2000 Years of Mayan Literature expands our realizing and appreciation not just of Mayan literature yet of indigenous American literature in its entirety.

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Additional info for 2000 Years of Mayan Literature

Example text

The next three describe the child’s father as ox k’atun ch’ajom, ajtok’a’, an observer of penitential fasts (ch’ajom) and a practitioner of sacrificial bloodletting (ajtok’a’) during three (ox) consecutive periods of the kind called a “score of stones” (k’atun), each consisting of 20 × 360 = 7,200 days. In the fifth character, the main sign is surrounded by affixes that describe this man as a ch’uh k’an ajaw (for which the final aw is a phonetic complement), a lord (ajaw) who makes offerings in the same manner as his wife.

The place and time where writing originated in Mesoamerica are unknown and may be unknowable. e. Carved on this monument are a day number and name from the 260-day divinatory calendar, which may have been in use all over Mesoamerica by that time. e. e. , were discovered at the Guatemalan sites of El Portón, in the valley of the Río Salamá in the northern highlands, and San Bartolo, in the rainforest of the far northern lowlands. In both cases, the characters appear in single columns rather than in the paired columns that predominate later.

Here is a full translation, broken into lines that display the parallel phrasing: This is the writing, the speaking of the dream T H E S K I L L E D O B S E RV E R F R O M M A X A M 33 of a skilled observer, a person from Maxam, born of a lady who offers gems, Lady Shell Star, Lady of Green Lake, in the quarter where the sun sets, begotten by a penitent man who let his blood for three score stones, the lord who offers gems for the Crossroads, a lucid artisan. These words would have been more than enough to reveal the writer’s identity to his or her contemporaries, and even now they serve to locate him or her in space and (by way of dynastic records) in time.

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