The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya: An Illustrated Dictionary of Mesoamerican Religion
The myths and beliefs of the great Precolumbian civilizations of Mesoamerica have baffled and fascinated outsiders ever since the Spanish Conquest. Yet, until now, no single-volume introduction has existed to act as a guide to this labyrinthine symbolic world. The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya is the first-ever English-language dictionary of Mesoamerican mythology and religion. Nearly 300 entries, from accession to yoke, describe the main gods and symbols of the Olmecs, Zapotecs, Maya, Teotihuacanos, Mixtecs, Toltecs and Aztecs. Topics range from jaguar and jester gods to reptile eye and rubber, from creation accounts and sacred places to ritual practices such as bloodletting, confession, dance and pilgrimage. In addition, two introductory essays provide succinct accounts of Mesoamerican history and religion, while a substantial bibliographical survey directs the reader to original sources and recent discussions. Dictionary entries are illustrated with photographs and newly commissioned line drawings. Mary Miller and Karl Taube draw on their research in the fast-changing field of Maya studies, and the latest Mexican discoveries, to produce an authoritative work that will immediately become a standard reference for students, scholars and travelers.
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