March 2-3, 2012
A Symposium Celebrating the Ancient Maya Creation Myth
in Literature, Iconography, Epigraphy, Ethnohistory and Archaeology
University of California, Merced, COB 105
Free and open to the public
The Popol Vuh of the ancient Maya is one of the oldest and most complete Precolumbian literary texts to survive the Spanish Conquest. The text has been translated over 82 times, into European and Maya languages as well as Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Its elegant poetry has been compared to the Iliad and Odyssey of Greece or the Ramayana of India. It is commonly referred to as the Maya "Bible" and the analogy is well-earned, as it is in fact "biblical" in its temporal depth and overarching cosmological foundations. But here the comparison ends as it is demonstratively an ancient text, parts of which can be traced to the Preclassic period. The text has become a valuable resource in understanding ancient Maya cosmology, myth and religion, and provides a window into the soul of ancient Maya people by giving us a glimpse into their values, morals, and beliefs. This symposium celebrates the Popol Vuh and the scholarship that the text has inspired.
Presenters: Gerardo Aldana, Jaime Awe, Ellen Bell, Oswaldo Chinchilla, Allen Christenson, David Freidel, Julia Guernsey, Nathan Henne, Barbara MacLeod, Holley Moyes, and Dorie Reents-Budet
Keynote address: Michael Coe
Sponsored by University of California, Merced Center for Research in Humanities and Arts.
Contact: Holley Moyes