Victor Montejo Back in North Carolina

Victor Montejo in North Carolina in the early 1980s. Courtesy Wallace Kaufman

Last night noted Maya scholar and writer Victor Montejo delivered the opening address of the “13 Bak’tun: New Maya Perspectives in 2012” symposium to a standing-room-only crowd in Wilson Library.

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.

Countdown to 13 Bak’tun

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.

Maudslay, A Glimpse at Guatemala (London, 1899) / Stuart F1464 .M44

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.