The Third Annual Tulane Maya Symposium & Workshop Retrospective:
Fifteen Centuries of Maya Literature from the Northern Lowlands
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Ball Court at Chichen Itza
Kabah Casa 2a Front
Acanceh by T. Mahler
The Yucatán Peninsula is unique in the Maya world in having a continuous literary tradition dating from the prehispanic to the contemporary period. The 2004 Symposium explored hieroglyphic, Colonial, and contemporary texts written by the Yucatec Maya. The program featured a series of lectures, discussions, and workshops led by specialists in the fields of epigraphy, linguistics, anthropology, and Colonial history.
Participants' thoughts on the 2004 Symposium:
The 2004 Tulane Maya Symposium and Workshop began with a keynote address by Dr. Anthony F. Aveni entitled "The Sky in Mayan Literature." Saturday’s program included lectures on hieroglyphic texts from the Classic and Postclassic periods, Colonial period native literature, and indigenous texts from the 19th and 20th centuries. Lectures were be presented by Markus Eberl, Alfonso Lacadena, Shannon Plank, Gabrielle Vail, John Chuchiak, Victoria R. Bricker, and Paul Sullivan. Sunday workshops at both the beginner and intermediate/advanced levels were led by Bryan R. Just, Timothy Knowlton, Victoria R. Bricker and Harvey M. Bricker, and Alfonso Lacadena.
Maya Symposium Exhibit: Tulane University Latin American Library
of the Latin American Library at Tulane include a large number of rubbings
of Classic Maya inscriptions by Merle Green Robertson and an important
collection of documents, written in the Maya language of Yucatán,
dating from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, as well as published
works – by Tulane authors and others – that exemplify the
literary virtuosity of the Maya of the Northern Lowlands. Featured in
the exhibition were rubbings of Classic period texts, facsimiles of Postclassic
Maya codices, handwritten documents from the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries, multiple editions of four books of Chilam Balam (those from
Chumayel, Chan Kan, Kaua, and Mani), and twentieth-century examples of
Maya literature. Of special interest is the relationship between a Spanish
chapbook containing a tale from A Thousand and One Nights and Maya texts
in three Books of Chilam Balam, suggesting that some eighteenth-century
Maya literature was inspired by Spanish (and ultimately Arabic) sources.
Maya Symposium Teachers Workshop
The Latin American Resource Center planned a special itinerary for teachers interested in attending the symposium and workshop. Highlights included A Photographic Tour of the Northern Maya Lowlands through the Lens of the Middle American Research Institute, a visit to the Middle American Research Institute, a special presentation at the Latin American Library, the keynote address: The Sky in Mayan Literature by Anthony Aveni, lectures: An Introduction to the Glyphic Inscriptions of Northern Yucatán and Ritual and Prophecy in the Maya Codices, and What's Your Sign?: Maya Interpretations of the Zodiac workshop. Scholarships were available for New Orleans area teachers. For a detailed description of the weekend's events, see the LARC workshops and conferences page.
Saturday Night Film Screening
The Maya Symposium presented the MARI film Men, Mules, and Machetes.
Friday, October 29, 2004er 29
The 2004 Symposium began with the opening session, A Photographic Tour of the Northern Maya Lowlands through the Lens of the Middle American Research Institute, by David R. Hixson and David S. Anderson. The program continued Friday afternoon with events in MARI and the Latin American Library.
On Friday evening, our keynote speaker Dr. Anthony F. Aveni presented his lecture, The Sky in Mayan Literature. Dr. Aveni’s lecture provided an overview of what we have learned about Maya astronomy and its relationship to social and religious practices from a study of the hieroglyphic Maya codices over the past three decades. We owe much of this knowledge to research based at Tulane University, especially the work of Drs. Victoria and Harvey Bricker, who have developed some novel approaches to reading the almanacs and tables that compose the Maya codices.
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Sunday, October 31
CENTER FOR LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES