By Susan Milbrath

ISBN-10: 0292752253

ISBN-13: 9780292752252

ISBN-10: 0292752261

ISBN-13: 9780292752269

ISBN-10: 0292797931

ISBN-13: 9780292797932

Observations of the solar, moon, planets, and stars performed a vital function in historical Maya lifeways, as they do this day between modern Maya who retain the normal methods. This pathfinding e-book reconstructs historic Maya astronomy and cosmology during the astronomical details encoded in Precolumbian Maya artwork and proven by means of the present practices of dwelling Maya peoples. Susan Milbrath opens the e-book with a dialogue of contemporary Maya ideals approximately astronomy, besides crucial info on naked-eye commentary. She devotes next chapters to Precolumbian astronomical imagery, which she lines again via time, ranging from the Colonial and Postclassic eras. She delves into many features of the Maya astronomical photographs, together with the most important astronomical gods and their linked glyphs, astronomical almanacs within the Maya codices [painted books], and adjustments within the imagery of the heavens through the years. This research yields new facts and a brand new synthesis of knowledge in regards to the particular astronomical occasions and cycles recorded in Maya paintings and structure. certainly, it constitutes the 1st significant examine of the connection among artwork and astronomy in historic Maya tradition.

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Additional resources for Star Gods of the Maya: Astronomy in Art, Folklore, and Calendars (The Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies)

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A number of Maya communities say that the eclipsed body is ill in some respect, considerably weakened or dying. The Cakchiquel believe that the sun and the moon die during an eclipse (Remington 1977 : 79). The Tzotzil Maya of Zinacanta´n say that the moon blackens or dies during an eclipse, and similar descriptions are applied to the sun during a solar eclipse (Laughlin 1988 : 388). A related belief about the moon is recorded among the Tzotzil of Chenalho´ (Guiteras Holmes 1961 : 152). On the other hand, the Chortı´ say that the Moon Goddess loses her powers of fecundity during a lunar eclipse (Wisdom 1940 : 400).

The sun dries up the ocean where it enters the underworld, but the rivers replenish the waters. When moving across the sky overhead, the sun undergoes a variety of transformations and uses many different modes of transport. The Ixil in Guatemala believe that the Sun God (Kub’aal q’ii) has twenty different manifestations and that he moves across the sky seated in a chair carried by four bearers; two other bearers carry his large headdress (Colby and Colby 1981 : 38). The Tzeltal of Chiapas say that the sun walks across the sky (Nash 1970 : 311).

On the fourth day of the five-day Festival of Games in February, Chamula’s Carnival officials run back and forth along a path of burning thatch in a fire walk that dramatizes the first ascent of the Sun / Christ into heaven (Gossen 1986 : 229 –230, 246 – 247, figs. 1–2). Solar heat naturally evokes an image of solar fire, a metaphorical link also seen in Precolumbian times (Chapter 3). Under certain conditions, the sun is associated with death. Winahel, located in the sun, is the abode of young children when they die, and of people struck by lightning or drowned as well as of women who die in childbirth, according to the Tzotzil of Chenalho´ (Guiteras Holmes 1961 : 143, 258).

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Star Gods of the Maya: Astronomy in Art, Folklore, and Calendars (The Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies) by Susan Milbrath


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