By Dennis Tedlock
Mayan literature is without doubt one of the oldest on the earth, spanning an outstanding millennia from deep pre-Columbian antiquity to the current day. right here, for the 1st time, is a completely 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 a long time of residing and dealing one of the Maya to gather this groundbreaking ebook, that is the 1st to regard old Mayan texts as literature. Tedlock considers the texts chronologically. He establishes that girls have been one of the historic writers and demanding situations the concept Mayan rulers claimed the prestige of gods. 2000 Years of Mayan Literature expands our knowing and appreciation not just of Mayan literature yet of indigenous American literature in its entirety.
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Extra resources for 2000 Years of Mayan Literature
26 E A R LY M AYA N W R I T I N G what is now Guatemala City, is the massive site of Kaminaljuyu. Engraved on Stela 10 is the longest of all early inscriptions within the Mayan region (ﬁgure 5). It is also one of the earliest ones to arrange the characters in double rather than single columns. The grid that underlies the columns and rows once again suggests a sensibility derived from loom weaving. The outlines of some of the characters have the pebblelike shapes that would predominate in later Mayan writing.
The sign is an image of the right hand with the thumb and foreﬁnger drawn together. ” In both Yukatekan and K’ichean, the term for “deer” is kej, and the K’ichean name for the day is Kej. Sunk. The Yukatekan name is Lamat, and the verb stem lam refers to the sinking of objects in water or below the horizon. ” Tribute. The Yukatekan name is Muluk, and mulb’il means “tribute” in the sense of tribute payments. ” In the K’iche’ kingdom, tribute payments were due on days named Toj. Dog. ” The word for “dog” is tz’i’ in most Mayan languages, including Ch’olan but excluding Yukatekan.
The Yukatekan name is B’en, and b’enel describes a state of incompleteness. The sign can also be used for a syllable, in which case it has the value aj. ” Jaguar. ” The image is that of a jaguar’s face, with jaguar spots serving to mark the eyes and mouth. Bird. ” Honey. ” The Yukatekan name is Kib’, meaning “wax,” probably referring to beeswax. ” Earth. ” Blade. The image is that of the ﬂaked surface of a ﬂint projectile point or knife blade. The Yukatekan name for this day is Etz’nab’, which combines etz’, meaning “sharpened,” with nab’, referring to the blade of a weapon.
2000 Years of Mayan Literature by Dennis Tedlock