Mayan literature is among the oldest in the world, spanning an astonishing two millennia from deep pre-Columbian antiquity to the present day. Here, for the first time, is a fully illustrated survey, from the earliest hieroglyphic inscriptions to the works of later writers using the Roman alphabet. Dennis Tedlock - ethnographer, linguist, poet, and award-winning author - draws on decades of living and working among the Maya to assemble this groundbreaking book, which is the first to treat ancient Mayan texts as literature. Tedlock considers the texts chronologically. He establishes that women were among the ancient writers and challenges the idea that Mayan rulers claimed the status of gods. "2000 Years of Mayan Literature" expands our understanding and appreciation not only of Mayan literature but of indigenous American literature in its entirety.
Dennis Tedlock is Distinguished Professor and Endowed McNulty Chair of English and Research Professor of Anthropology at the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York. He won the PEN Translation Prize for Popol Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life and the Glories of Gods and Kings. For his other books he has received awards from the American Folklore Society, the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, the Society for Humanistic Anthropology, and the Association of American Publishers.
Acknowledgments Note on the Pronunciation of Mayan Words Introduction PART ONE 1. Learning to Read 2. Early Mayan Writing 3. The Skilled Observer from Maxam 4. From the Time of Gods to the Time of Lords 5. Cormorant and Her Three Sons 6. Temple of the Sun- Eyed Shield 7. Temple of the Tree of Yellow Corn 8. Lady Shark Fin and the Eve ning Star 9. The Rattlesnakes of the City of Three Stones 10. Drawing and Designing with Words 11. Graffiti 12. The Question of the Beginning and End of Time 13. The Mouth of the Well of the Itza 14. Writing on the Pages of Books 15. Signs of the Times 16. Moon Woman Meets the Stars 17. The Power of the Great Star 18. Thunderstorm 19. Diagrams of the Days PART TWO 20. The Alphabet Arrives in the Lowlands 21. The Books of Chilam Balam 22. Understanding the Language of Suyua 23. Song of the Birth of the Twenty Days 24. Conversations with Madness 25. The Alphabet Arrives in the Highlands 26. A Way to See the Dawn of Life 27. Blood Moon Becomes a Trickster 28. The Death of Death 29. The Human Work, the Human Design 30. We Saw It All, Oh My Sons 31. The Count of Days 32. Man of Rabinal Epilogue Notes Bibliography List of Mayan Texts and Translations List of Figures List of Maps Illustration Credits Index
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