June 2013 Lecture:
Scribal Strategies among the Late Postclassic Maya: Interweaving Ritual Performance with Tales of the Mythic Past
Almanacs and astronomical tables recorded by Postclassic Maya scribes in the Dresden and Madrid codices include previously unrecognized early versions of cosmological and mythological themes found in later (colonial period) sources from indigenous cultures of far-flung regions of Mesoamerica. This lecture focuses on a few of these themes: the creation of the earth from the sacrifice of a crocodilian, the creation and destruction of previous eras, and the adventures of Elder Brother and Younger Brother.
Monthly meetings are held at the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, 1201 17th Street NW.
Date: Friday, June 7, 2013
Time: Refreshments: 6:45 pm
Meeting and lecture: 7:15 pm
Biography: Gabrielle Vail, PhD, specializes in the study of Maya hieroglyphic text, with an emphasis on prehispanic Maya ritual and religion as documented in screenfold manuscripts painted in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Dr. Vail is the author of many papers and books on Maya codices. Her forthcoming volume, Re-Creating Primordial Time: Foundation Rituals and Mythology in the Postclassic Maya Codices (with Christine Hernandez) provides a new interpretation of the rituals portrayed in May codices and their links to creation narratives. Dr. Vail holds a research position at New College of Florida, and she teaches there and in the Honors Program at the University of South Florida.