Maya Civilization--
Past & Present

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The dominant society requires its youth to study their cultural heritage and origins in Europe and the Mediterranean. For Native American youth, a study of the great civilizations of the Western Hemisphere is appropriate. The Maya are not gone--Chiapas Maya in Mexico have been much in the news, and more than 10,000 Guatemalan Mayan refugees from the terror live in the U.S., while the war there against indigenous people goes on .

Much of the study of their past civilization focuses on their sciences and mathematics, for a long time all that could be deciphered of their jungle-choked stone cities. Recently, the glyphs of the stone-recorded language, together with the Pop Wuj book written by desperate Mayas in the 16 century to preserve their culture under the Spanish onslaught, and oral histories of elders, have begun to yield a human history, as well as the ancient sciences.

Links you've visited once will turn brown.

Point Communications (now defunct) rated this section in its version of the top 5% of all websites. I am not happy about this, because I think their Review is racist. Here's what they said that really shocked me:

"An interview with 1992 Nobel Peace Prize recipient Rigoberta Menchu Tum is the only spot where this site gets a little strident: 'For me, to celebrate the twelfth of October is the absolute expression of triumphism, occupation and presumptuousness, and I think that history will remember those that celebrate it,' she huffs. But the remainder of the site is purely educational...." .

Oh really, Miigwetch, you racists.

Rigoberta, as many must surely know, had her whole family slaughtered, and she herself was raped and tortured and left for dead by the genocidal military regime of Guatemala, which attempted to prevent her Nobel award and has made many attempts to assassinate her. (Recently this regime bombed an American woman Civil Rights activist - in - the - Mayan - cause, and said she must have bombed her own car.)

I recommend her autobiography, I, Rigoberta if you can find it nowadays. What did this racist Point outfit like about these pages? Well, they said it was mostly links to other sites, ignoring the Mayan literature and language (and other) pages I worked quite hard to present -- could that be because those little animal tales actually have a political interpretation? Or that the chapter from a novel about a Mayan village life is by a Mayan author? What they did seem to like is a link which actually presents an almost - nut theory (totally speculative) -- I linked to it because he had good pix. What really gets me about this racist review is that "but the rest is educational."

For your information Mr. and Ms. White America, Rigoberta's speech is the most educational item on this website. I only wish I had my notes when she spoke to us in Minneapolis a few years ago, pretty big audience. Through my own tears I saw a lot of hard cases crying. The racist who wrote that review though, I bet he saves his tears for anything that costs him money.

In addition to the many remote links described on the LinksPage, this Maya Menu Page has links to "Maya Content" pages residing here:

Rigoberta Menchu Tum: Interview with 1992 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu Tum, Mayan refugee woman from Guatemala. Websites with relevant human rights info on the Guatemalan and Chiapas (Mexico) Mayan situations are linked-to on her page.

A Menu of Mayapages Organized by Topics

Culture: Traditional Stories, Modern Mayan Novel,

Language: Mayan pronunciation, everyday language phrases

Numbers: Mayan Base-20 number glyphs and words

MAPS, info on ancient City Sites; on rainforest environment; links to other sites with Maya maps.

Curriculum: Videodisk Science-social studies for Middle School

Maya LINKS -- to over 100 Mayan websites

Mystery of the Maya - Canadian Museum of Civilization: Topnotch exhibit includes a clear presentation of historical info, some modern info, a timeline, a vocabulary list, and several art exhibits with explanations. Educational support for the large-screen film "Mystery of the Maya" made jointly by the governments of Canada and Mexico, which premiered at CMC April '95, with special outdoor exhibits. Doesn't require seeing the film.


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CREDITS: The Maya sculpture was scanned years ago from various archaeology books I neglected to record. I traced it in FreeHand, simplified the backgrounds, and turned them into "stone cartoons." The seated Maya gloating over his apprehensive captive parrot needed only a few changes to make these characters come alive. The stone cartouche page logo--a Maya looking aghast at his parrot at the beginning of this page--was plain stonework, colored by me. But the Maya did do elaborate inlays or mosaics of jade, turquoise, gold, and other colored stones. These tend to get stolen rather quickly when ancient cities are first found.

Page prepared by Paula Giese.Text and graphics copyright 1995, 1996

Last updated: Friday, July 05, 1996 - 8:57:38 AM