Reading Maya Art

Reading Maya Art

Author: Andrea Joyce Stone

Publisher:

ISBN: 0500051682

Category: Art

Page: 248

View: 620

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Presented here for the first time is a compendium of one hundred hieroglyphs that are also building blocks of ancient Maya painting and sculpture. Organized thematically, the symbols touch on many facets of the Maya world, from the natural environment animals, plants, the heavens to the metaphysical landscape of gods, myths and rituals. Using over five hundred line drawings and photographs, Andrea Stone and Marc Zender show how to identify these signs, understand their meaning, and appreciate the novel ways they appear in art. In addition to providing a clear and accessible introduction to Maya art, linguistics and writing, the authors also offer many new and exciting interpretations. Lavishly illustrated, fully cross-referenced and indexed, this remarkable and innovative guide will prove an invaluable tool for those wishing to see Maya art, perhaps for the first time, through the eyes of ancient scribes and artists.

Maya Narrative Arts

Maya Narrative Arts

Author: Karen Bassie-Sweet

Publisher: University Press of Colorado

ISBN: 9781607327424

Category: Social Science

Page: 321

View: 992

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In Maya Narrative Arts, authors Karen Bassie-Sweet and Nicholas A. Hopkins present a comprehensive and innovative analysis of the principles of Classic Maya narrative arts and apply those principles to some of the major monuments of the site of Palenque. They demonstrate a recent methodological shift in the examination of art and inscriptions away from minute technical issues and toward the poetics and narratives of texts and the relationship between texts and images. Bassie-Sweet and Hopkins show that both visual and verbal media present carefully planned narratives, and that the two are intimately related in the composition of Classic Maya monuments. Text and image interaction is discussed through examples of stelae, wall panels, lintels, benches, and miscellaneous artifacts including ceramic vessels and codices. Bassie-Sweet and Hopkins consider the principles of contrast and complementarity that underlie narrative structures and place this study in the context of earlier work, proposing a new paradigm for Maya epigraphy. They also address the narrative organization of texts and images as manifested in selected hieroglyphic inscriptions and the accompanying illustrations, stressing the interplay between the two. Arguing for a more holistic approach to Classic Maya art and literature, Maya Narrative Arts reveals how close observation and reading can be equally if not more productive than theoretical discussions, which too often stray from the very data that they attempt to elucidate. The book will be significant for Mesoamerican art historians, epigraphers, linguists, and archaeologists.

Art and Myth of the Ancient Maya

Art and Myth of the Ancient Maya

Author: Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300224672

Category: Art

Page: 304

View: 880

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This nuanced account explores Maya mythology through the lens of art, text, and culture. It offers an important reexamination of the mid-16th-century Popol Vuh, long considered an authoritative text, which is better understood as one among many crucial sources for the interpretation of ancient Maya art and myth. Using materials gathered across Mesoamerica, Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos bridges the gap between written texts and artistic representations, identifying key mythical subjects and uncovering their variations in narratives and visual depictions. Central characters—including a secluded young goddess, a malevolent grandmother, a dead father, and the young gods who became the sun and the moon—are identified in pottery, sculpture, mural painting, and hieroglyphic inscriptions. Highlighting such previously overlooked topics as sexuality and generational struggles, this beautifully illustrated book paves the way for a new understanding of Maya myths and their lavish expression in ancient art.

Reading the Maya Glyphs (Second Edition)

Reading the Maya Glyphs (Second Edition)

Author: Michael D. Coe

Publisher: Thames & Hudson

ISBN: 9780500773338

Category: Social Science

Page: 176

View: 150

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The breaking of the Maya code has completely changed our knowledge of this ancient civilization, and has revealed the Maya people's long and vivid history. Decipherment of Maya hieroglyphic writing has progressed to the point where most Maya written texts—whether inscribed on monuments, written in the codices, or painted or incised on ceramics—can now be read with confidence. In this practical guide, first published in 2001, Michael D. Coe, the noted Mayanist, and Mark Van Stone, an accomplished calligrapher, have made the difficult, often mysterious script accessible to the nonspecialist. They decipher real Maya texts, and the transcriptions include a picture of the glyph, the pronunciation, the Maya words in Roman type, and the translation into English. For the second edition, the authors have taken the latest research and breakthroughs into account, adding glyphs, updating captions, and reinterpreting or expanding upon earlier decipherments. After an introductory discussion of Maya culture and history and the nature of the Maya script, the authors introduce the glyphs in a series of chapters that elaborate on topics such as the intricate calendar, warfare, royal lives and rituals, politics, dynastic names, ceramics, relationships, and the supernatural world. The book includes illustrations of historic texts, a syllabary, a lexicon, and translation exercises.

Unseen Art

Unseen Art

Author: Claudia Brittenham

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 9781477325971

Category: Art

Page: 188

View: 336

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In Unseen Art, Claudia Brittenham unravels one of the most puzzling phenomena in Mesoamerican art history: why many of the objects that we view in museums today were once so difficult to see. She examines the importance that ancient Mesoamerican people assigned to the process of making and enlivening the things we now call art, as well as Mesoamerican understandings of sight as an especially godlike and elite power, in order to trace a gradual evolution in the uses of secrecy and concealment, from a communal practice that fostered social memory to a tool of imperial power. Addressing some of the most charismatic of all Mesoamerican sculptures, such as Olmec buried offerings, Maya lintels, and carvings on the undersides of Aztec sculptures, Brittenham shows that the creation of unseen art has important implications both for understanding status in ancient Mesoamerica and for analyzing art in the present. Spanning nearly three thousand years of the Indigenous art of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize, Unseen Art connects the dots between vision, power, and inequality, providing a critical perspective on our own way of looking.

The Maya: A Very Short Introduction

The Maya: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Matthew Restall

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780190645045

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 216

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The Maya forged one of the greatest societies in the history of the ancient Americas and in all of human history. Long before contact with Europeans, Maya communities built spectacular cities with large, well-fed large populations. They mastered the visual arts, and developed a sophisticated writing system that recorded extraordinary knowledge in calendrics, mathematics, and astronomy. The Maya achieved all this without area-wide centralized control. There was never a single, unified Maya state or empire, but always numerous, evolving ethnic groups speaking dozens of distinct Mayan languages. The people we call "Maya" never thought of themselves as such; yet something definable, unique, and endlessly fascinating - what we call Maya culture - has clearly existed for millennia. So what was their self-identity and how did Maya civilization come to be "invented?" With the Maya historically subdivided and misunderstood in so many ways, the pursuit of what made them "the Maya" is all the more important. In this Very Short Introduction, Restall and Solari explore the themes of Maya identity, city-state political culture, art and architecture, the Maya concept of the cosmos, and the Maya experience of contact with including invasion by outsiders. Despite its brevity, this book is unique for its treatment of all periods of Maya civilization, from its origins to the present.

The Maya Apocalypse and Its Western Roots

The Maya Apocalypse and Its Western Roots

Author: Matthew Restall

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 9781538154991

Category: Civilization, Medieval

Page: 190

View: 782

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"Offers an accessible readable survey of apocalyptic thinking in two civilizations-Western and Maya-driven by a clear and compelling argument. The authors explore why end-of-times anxiety and anticipation is so deeply rooted and persistent in Western civilization"--

Translating Maya Hieroglyphs

Translating Maya Hieroglyphs

Author: Scott A.J. Johnson

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

ISBN: 9780806189406

Category: History

Page: 402

View: 756

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Maya hieroglyphic writing may seem impossibly opaque to beginning students, but scholar Scott A. J. Johnson presents it as a regular and comprehensible system in this engaging, easy-to-follow textbook. The only comprehensive introduction designed specifically for those new to the study, Translating Maya Hieroglyphs uses a hands-on approach to teach learners the current state of Maya epigraphy. Johnson shows readers step by step how to translate ancient Maya glyphs. He begins by describing how to break down a Mayan text into individual glyphs in the correct reading order, and then explains the different types of glyphs and how they function in the script. Finally, he shows how to systematically convert a Mayan inscription into modern English. Not simply a reference volume, Translating Maya Hieroglyphs is pedagogically arranged so that it functions as an introductory foreign-language textbook. Chapters cover key topics, including spelling, dates and numbers, basic grammar, and verbs. Formal linguistic information is accessibly explained, while worksheets and exercises complement and reinforce the material covered in the text. Glyph blocks and phrases drawn from actual monuments illustrate the variety and scribal virtuosity of Maya writing. The Maya writing system has not been fully deciphered. Throughout the text, Johnson outlines and explains the outstanding disputes among Mayanists. At the end of each chapter, he offers sources for further reading. Helpful appendices provide quick reference to vocabulary, glyph meanings, and calendrical data for students undertaking a translation. The study of Maya glyphs has long been an arcane subject known only to a few specialists. This book will change that. Taking advantage of the great strides scholars have made in deciphering hieroglyphs in the past four decades, Translating Maya Hieroglyphs brings this knowledge to a broader audience, including archaeologists and budding epigraphers.

Breath and Smoke

Breath and Smoke

Author: Jennifer Loughmiller-Cardinal

Publisher: University of New Mexico Press

ISBN: 9780826360939

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 467

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From Classical antiquity to the present, tobacco has existed as a potent ritual substance. Tobacco use among the Maya straddles a recreational/ritual/medicinal nexus that can be difficult for Western audiences to understand. To best characterize the pervasive substance, this volume assembles scholars from a variety of disciplines and specialties to discuss tobacco in modern and ancient contexts. The chapters utilize research from archaeology, ethnography, mythic narrative, and chemical science from the eighth through the twenty-first centuries. Breath and Smoke explores the uses of tobacco among the Maya of Central America, revealing tobacco as a key topic in pre-Columbian art, iconography, and hieroglyphics. By assessing and considering myths, imagery, hieroglyphic texts, and material goods, as well as modern practices and their somatic effects, this volume brings the Mayan world of the past into greater focus and sheds light on the practices of today.

The Life Within

The Life Within

Author: Stephen Houston

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300196023

Category: Art

Page: 195

View: 821

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Beautifully written and illustrated, The Life Within is the first full study of the vitality and materiality of Classic Maya art and writing and the quest for transcendence and immortality.

Maya Imagery, Architecture, and Activity

Maya Imagery, Architecture, and Activity

Author: Kaylee R. Spencer

Publisher: UNM Press

ISBN: 9780826355805

Category: Art

Page: 432

View: 680

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Maya Imagery, Architecture, and Activity privileges art historical perspectives in addressing the ways the ancient Maya organized, manipulated, created, interacted with, and conceived of the world around them. The Maya provide a particularly strong example of the ways in which the built and imaged environment are intentionally oriented relative to political, religious, economic, and other spatial constructs. In examining space, the contributors of this volume demonstrate the core interrelationships inherent in a wide variety of places and spaces, both concrete and abstract. They explore the links between spatial order and cosmic order and the possibility that such connections have sociopolitical consequences. This book will prove useful not just to Mayanists but to art historians in other fields and scholars from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, archaeology, geography, and landscape architecture.

A Maya Universe in Stone

A Maya Universe in Stone

Author: Stephen Houston

Publisher: Getty Publications

ISBN: 9781606067444

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 166

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The first study devoted to a single sculptor in ancient America, as understood through four unprovenanced masterworks traced to a small sector of Guatemala. In 1950, Dana Lamb, an explorer of some notoriety, stumbled on a Maya ruin in the tropical forests of northern Guatemala. Lamb failed to record the location of the site he called Laxtunich, turning his find into the mystery at the center of this book. The lintels he discovered there, long since looted, are probably of a set with two others that are among the masterworks of Maya sculpture from the Classic period. Using fieldwork, physical evidence, and Lamb’s expedition notes, the authors identify a small area with archaeological sites where the carvings were likely produced. Remarkably, the vividly colored lintels, replete with dynastic and cosmic information, can be assigned to a carver, Mayuy, who sculpted his name on two of them. To an extent nearly unique in ancient America, Mayuy can be studied over time as his style developed and his artistic ambition grew. An in-depth analysis of Laxtunich Lintel 1 examines how Mayuy grafted celestial, seasonal, and divine identities onto a local magnate and his overlord from the kingdom of Yaxchilan, Mexico. This volume contextualizes the lintels and points the way to their reprovenancing and, as an ultimate aim, repatriation to Guatemala.