By Dennis Tedlock
Mayan literature is likely one of the oldest on the earth, spanning an brilliant 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 many years of dwelling and dealing one of the Maya to gather this groundbreaking booklet, that's the 1st to regard historic 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 that 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
Thanks to the inscriptions left behind by Mayan writers, we now know the names by which that city was known in its own time: Wak Kab’nal, “Sixth Earth Place,” and, more commonly, Maxam, whose meaning is uncertain. The site lies inside present-day Guatemala, a short distance west of the country’s border with Belize. Not far north and south of it are the Holmul and Mopán rivers, whose waters reach the Caribbean through northern Belize. e. The ofﬁcial account of the succession of rulers makes a claim to a much deeper past, naming an ancestor who preceded the historical lords of Maxam by many thousands of years.
The two signs preﬁxed to the left side of the emblem read ch’uh lah, meaning that when the reigning head of the Gourd dynasty makes offerings, he “sprinkles everything”—gems, shells, and other small objects. ” When a sign for the syllable wa is sufﬁxed to the main sign, as here, it is interpreted as w(a), a phonetic complement that conﬁrms the ajaw reading of the upper elements rather than adding a syllable that was not already there. An alternative reading for the upper elements (shown in the second gloss) is suggested by the fact that they appear separately in other contexts, functioning as signs with two different meanings.
15, falling on July 6, 292. Early Classic inscriptions continue to have a high proportion of logographic signs, and they tend to be brief, devoting as much or more space to the dating of events as to the events themselves. 0, which came in 495, but then they begin to appear on monuments at multiple sites in the northern lowlands. 0, which came in 593, they appear at more frequent intervals and in many more places, and their ubiquity is one of the features archaeologists use to deﬁne the Late Classic period, which they reckon as beginning in 550 or 600.