yucatec maya

Every time I wear the necklace I got in Belize with my ‘name’ written on it in Mayan orthography, I’m reminded that classical Mayan has a CVC syllable structure with a CV syllabary, meaning it’s impossible to write my name (Anna) using four glyphs

Anana. The necklace says Anana.

But if the people who made the necklace knowing tourists would be too stupid or inconsiderate to care don’t say anything then neither will I.

How Do We Know What The Maya Believed?

Mostly, it is from written sources. Archaeologists and historians are very, very thankful that the Maya independently invented writing, allowing them to record much of what was important to them and their worldview. The oldest written Mayan myths date from the 1500s and are found in historical sources from the Guatemalan Highlands. The most important of these documents is the Popol Vuh or ‘Book of the Council’ which contains Quichean creation stories and some of the adventures of the Hero Twins. Yucatán is an equally important region, where ‘The Books of Chilam Balam’ were found. Written in the Yucatec Mayan language and using the Latin alphabet, the nine books are attributed to a legendary author called Chilam Balam. These contain mythological passages, history, calendars and day classifications, medicinal recipes, and some Spanish traditions.

There are also Mayan mythological fragments found scattered among the early-colonial Spanish chronicles and reports, chief among them Diego de Landa’s Relación, and in the dictionaries compiled by the early missionaries. In the 1800s and 1900s, anthropologists and local folklorists, determined to preserve the Maya culture and heritage, committed many stories to paper. Even though most Maya tales are the results of an historical process in which Spanish narrative traditions interacted with native ones, some of the tales reach back well into pre-Spanish times.

Chichen Itza, Spanish: Chichén Itzá ( /tʃiːˈtʃɛn iːˈtsɑː/;[nb 1] from Yucatec Maya: Chi'ch'èen Ìitsha’, /IPA:tɕʰɨɪʼtɕʼeːn˧˩ iː˧˩tsʰaʲ/[1] “at the mouth of the well of the Itza”), was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya civilization. The archaeological site is located in the municipality of Tinúm, in the Mexican state of Yucatán.