Art and Myth of the Ancient Maya

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Yale University Press, May 2, 2017 - Art - 304 pages
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.
 

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Excellent. Very insightful.

Contents

Introduction
1
1 Image and Text
9
2 Pictorial and Textual Sources
31
3 Mesoamerican Cosmogony
53
4 The Maiden
83
5 The Grandmother
105
6 The Suns Opponents
131
7 The Sun
159
8 The Perfect Youth
185
9 The Father
225
Epilogue
239
Notes
243
Bibliography
259
Illustration Credits
281
Index
283
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About the author (2017)

Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos is assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Yale University.

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