By Dennis Tedlock
Mayan literature is without doubt one of the oldest on the earth, 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 residing 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 girls 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 figuring out and appreciation not just of Mayan literature yet of indigenous American literature in its entirety.
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Extra info for 2000 Years of Mayan Literature
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. Ok, meaning “foot,” is the Yukatekan name for the day. 16 L E A R N I N G TO R E A D Monkey. In nearly every Mayan language, the name for this day is B’atz’, which is the term for the howler monkey. ” Throughout the Mayan region, the patron deities of artisans, including writers, were divine monkeys who were twin brothers. Tooth.
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. The K’ichean name is Tijax, an esoteric term for a ﬂint knife. Thunder. ” Yukatekan Kawak and K’ichean Kawuq appear to be L E A R N I N G TO R E A D 17 cognate with the Chontal and Tzotzil names, with a predictable consonant change from ch to k, but their apparent meanings are different.
The opening day is the chum, or “seating,” of the period, and the remaining days are numbered from one through nineteen. ” This is the last of the 20-day periods, leaving only 5 days to complete the year. The 4 Ajaw 8 Kumk’u combination happens to coincide with the zero point of the long count. Any given combination recurs once each ﬁfty-two years. This next pair of phrases, again written with two characters, is from an inscription painted on a vase, composed entirely in parallel verse (see chapter 3 for a fuller account): The ﬁrst character combines u-, the third-person singular possessive pronoun, with tz’ib’, a term for “writing” and other graphic arts.
2000 Years of Mayan Literature by Dennis Tedlock