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M.A.R.I. Bulletin: Volume 3, No. 3 (Fall)
Studying the indigenous cultures of Mexico and Central America since 1924

Director's News

So far the Fall of 2012 has been quite busy for M.A.R.I.

To begin with, we have now finished preparing our Publications room at M.A.R.I. (furbished with its own dedicated computer) so that we can not only respond to publication orders more quickly but also design and prepare manuscripts for future publications more easily. We have also been busily cataloging and researching several new donations of materials which include some spectacular and rare Guatemalan textiles. In more Collections news, we are also now beginning to unbox and process the many plaster casts M.A.R.I. has in its collection. Some of these have been unseen since the 1930s World Fair in Chicago. Who knows, we might re-discover some real gems among them!

Beyond the Tulane Maya Symposium, I would also like to mention that M.A.R.I. is setting in place a long-term collaborative effort with the New Orleans Museum of Art that should culminate in a new exhibit on the Classic Maya. While the details have yet to be decided, we are excited about our continuing efforts to expand M.A.R.I.'s involvement in the New Orleans community. Much more on this will be announced as it develops.

Lastly, news of our exhibit is spreading throughout the Tulane University and the wider public school communities. Over the past few weeks, we have had over 300 visitors to our gallery. We hope this is only the beginning of an increasing interest in our efforts here at M.A.R.I. among Tulane students.

Best to all,



Notes from the Field

Here we feature the research efforts and scholarly accomplishments of the many members of the Tulane community affiliated with M.A.R.I.


In this issue we hear from Rachel Horowitz, graduate student in the Anthropology department at Tulane University.


This summer I conducted research for my dissertation project in Belize, thanks to funding from a National Geographic Young Explorer grant. I am working at Callar Creek Quarry, a chert quarry in western Belize. Investigations at the quarry are part of the Mopan Valley Archaeological Project (MVAP), directed by Dr. Jason Yaeger.


My investigations at the quarry are focused on determining the methods of extraction of raw materials and the sequence of production of stone tools in order to examine the role of lithics in Maya economic organization. During this field season I conducted two months of excavation and laboratory analysis. I made excellent progress in my research this season and look forward to returning to perform further research.

10th Annual Tulane Maya Symposium:
KAANAL: The Snake Kingdom of the Classic Maya


February 22-24, 2013; Registration is open!


ImageThis year's topic focuses on one of the largest political entities of the Classic lowland Maya - the polity of the Kaanal kings. We will explore the development and decline of this political juggernaut by presenting some of the latest information on the subject from such active projects as El Perú-Waka', La Corona, Uxul, El Palmar, and Calakmul. What is even more exciting is that we will be able to present a great deal of new epigrpahic material from these sites. In talks, a forum, and workshops we will be discussing some of the newest texts from La Corona, Uxul, and El Palmar.

REGISTER NOW! Workshops will indeed be limited in size.


Friday Feb 22
Keynote at the New Orleans Museum of Art
Peter Mathews (LaTrobe University)

Saturday Feb 23
Symposium speakers at Tulane University

Ivan Šprajc (ZRC-SAZU)
Ramon Carrasco (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia)
Rogelio Valencia (Centro Knórosov Xcaret)
Nikolai Grube (University of Bonn)
Kenichiro Tsukamoto (University of Arizona)
Octavio Esparza O. (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)
Olivia Navarro Farr (Wooster University)
Stanley Guenter (Idaho State University)
Marcello A. Canuto (M.A.R.I./Tulane University)
Tomás Barrientos Q. (Universidad del Valle Guatemala)
David Stuart (University of Texas at Austin)
Simon Martin (University of Pennsylvania)

Sunday, Feb 24
Hieroglyphic Forum: The "2012" Panel from La Corona

Stanley Guenter (Idaho State University)
Simon Martin (University of Pennsylvania)
David Stuart (University of Texas at Austin)
Marc Zender (Tulane University)

"Inscriptions from La Corona - Part I"
Joanne Baron (University of Pennsylvania)

"Inscriptions from La Corona - Part II"
Stanley Guenter (Idaho State University)

"Inscriptions from El Palmar"
Octavio Esparza O. (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)

"Inscriptions from Uxul"
Nikolai Grube (University of Bonn)


M.A.R.I. organizes the Symposium in collaboration with Tulane's Center for Inter-American Policy and Research, Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and Far Horizons.

Highland Maya textiles donated to M.A.R.I.

Donation of textiles contains some rare century-old pieces

M.A.R.I. recently received a generous donation of more than thirty textiles. A few are of Native American origin, several are from Mexico, and the majority are from Guatemala.


The collection includes tzutes (handwoven textiles used by men and women), huipiles for daily and ceremonial use, and other miscellaneous garments. With the help of visiting scholar Ixq'uq' Regina Cuma Chávez, we have been able to determine that the collection includes several pieces that are over a century old; some are rare due to either weaving technique, color scheme, and/or the symbolic content of their designs.



For instance, this women’s huipil is from San Juan Comalapa in the Department of Chimaltenango. The garment’s natural cotton base is decorated with threads of natural silk, cotton, and wool in an impressive variety of colors and patterns. It is a ceremonial cofradía piece from the early 1900s.

Ixq'uq' handled this rare and beautiful piece with pride. We are grateful to our donor and to Ixq'uq' for contributing to M.A.R.I.

Dinwiddie Hall, 3rd floor
Tulane University
6823 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118


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Copyright © 2012, Middle American Research Institute at Tulane University