On Thursday, the UNC Yucatec Maya Summer Institute visited the Rare Book Collection, as it does every summer, to view relevant holdings, including artists’ books made in Chiapas by Taller Leñateros and historical volumes on the Maya from the George E. and Melinda Y. Stuart Collection. The Institute offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced instruction in modern Yucatec Maya, and the annual visit takes place at the end of Chapel Hill coursework, before students relocate to Yucatan for immersive instruction there.
The historical books on display were ones featured in the 2012 Wilson exhibition Ancient and Living Maya in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Archaeological Discovery, Literary Voice, and Political Struggle, an element of the “13 Bak’tun” symposium at UNC. We are pleased to write here that an enhanced online version of the exhibition—which tells the story of the Maya struggle for autonomy and self-expression alongside that of European peoples’ decipherment of Mayan hieroglyphic writing—is now available on the UNC Libraries website: https://exhibits.lib.unc.edu/exhibits/show/maya/intro
The end of the 13 Bak’tun, a period of 144,000 days in the Maya Long Count Calendar is a time for reflection. Listen in to Frank Stasio interviewing UNC Associate Professor Emilio del Valle Escalante and Curator of Rare Books Claudia Funke on the December 21st podcast from “The State of Things.”
Happy 13 Bak’tun!
We’ll be writing again, in the new cycle of the 14th Bak’tun and the new year 2013.
December 21, 2012, is fast approaching. What better way to recognize the shortest day of the year—and the end of the current great cycle in the Maya Long Count Calendar—than to tune in at high noon (yes, 12 p.m.) to Frank Stasio’s radio program “The State of Things” on WUNC 91.5 FM?
His reappearance in North Carolina, thirty years after his arrival here as an exile from Guatemala in 1982, was an emotional experience—and an apparent fulfillment of its own calendric cycle, in synchronicity with the 13 Bak’tun.
This was an exciting opportunity for the UNC community to hear from one of the most respected Maya activists writing today. His wide-ranging talk on Maya religion, self-determination, and cycles of time spoke to the renewal of Maya culture at this critical moment as the current Maya Long Count Calendar cycle comes to an end.
It was an honor and a privilege for UNC to host Prof. Montejo’s lecture, which was the perfect beginning to the symposium.
We’re counting down to the beginning of the UNC symposium “13 Bak’tun: New Maya Perspectives in 2012,” which kicks off on Thursday. There will be a reception and viewing of the exhibit Ancient and Living Maya in the 19th and 20th Centuries: Archaeological Discovery, Literary Voice, and Political Struggle at Wilson Library at 5 p.m.
After the reception at 5:30 p.m., poet, novelist, scholar, and human rights activist Victor Montejo will deliver the symposium’s keynote lecture, addressing the role of native scholars and activists in the renewal of the Maya world by exploring Maya cycles of time through a native exegesis of the sacred K’iche’ text the Popol Vuh.
We look forward to welcoming Prof. Montejo back to North Carolina and to an important and meaningful program.
This past Wednesday, students from the Yucatec Maya Summer Institute visited Wilson Library to learn about the rich resources of the Stuart Collection in the Rare Book Collection.
Sponsored by the UNC-Duke Consortium, the Institute offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced level instruction of modern Yucatec Maya. The RBC’s Stuart Collection, gift of George Stuart (UNC Ph.D. 1975) and Melinda Stuart, supports the study of Maya archaeology, culture, and language, and the extensive Maya-related curriculum of UNC Chapel Hill.
Following the viewing of Stuart rarities, students had the chance to look at artists’ books made by the Taller Leñateros of Chiapas, Mexico – collected for UNC by Teresa Chapa, Librarian for Latin America, Iberia, Latina/o Studies.
The Rare Book Collection is excited about all things Maya in 2012. It looks forward to partnering with UNC colleagues to present “13 Bak’tun: New Maya Perspectives in 2012,” October 25-26, a symposium on Maya civilization in recognition of the end of the current great cycle in the Maya Long Count calendar. Noted scholar Víctor Montejo will give the keynote address; there will be open classrooms, poetry readings, exhibitions, and more. Follow our web site for details to come in the next weeks.