By Dennis Tedlock
Mayan literature is likely one of the oldest on the planet, spanning an marvelous millennia from deep pre-Columbian antiquity to the current day. the following, 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 many years of dwelling and dealing one of the Maya to collect this groundbreaking ebook, that is the 1st to regard historic Mayan texts as literature. Tedlock considers the texts chronologically. He establishes that ladies 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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Additional resources for 2000 Years of Mayan Literature
What this means for a would-be reader is that there is a scarcity of syllabic signs. The fewer the clues to the sound of a text and the component parts of its words, the harder it is to determine the language in which it was written, and not knowing the language makes it difﬁcult to experiment with possible word sequences. 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.
It comes from Pomona, a small site in Belize. The characters are arranged in four equally spaced groups around a circle. Again, the proﬁled heads face left. Just beneath the top and bottom heads are oblong signs marked with human footprints. ” The top one is headed toward the right, and the bottom one toward the left, indicating that the reader should proceed clockwise from one part of the text to the next. Fig. 6. Incised jade ear ornament from Pomona, Belize. Late Preclassic. 28 E A R LY M AYA N W R I T I N G The head above the top footprint is that of the god of the sun or day, who is also the god of the number written beneath the footprint, which is 4.
What this Fig. 1. Passage from a lunar almanac in the Dresden Codex, with event portends is given by the eight characters in two double columns. Within a pair of colcharacter that comes in fourth umns, the reading order goes from left to right and top to bottom. ” The fourth and ﬁnal character describes the portent: ox okwa, in which ox is literally “three” but serves as a ﬁgure of speech for “several,” and okwa is a term for wedding feasts. The portent (umuuka) in the ﬁrst half of this text and the event (umuuk) in the second half are spelled in the same way, but the context demands that they be read differently, keeping the ﬁnal vowel in the ﬁrst instance and dropping it in the second.
2000 Years of Mayan Literature by Dennis Tedlock