Petroglyphs can be found all over North America. The ancient Maya and Aztec were known to write on cloth and deerskin. The Maya also carved hieroglyphics in stone.
Precolumbian literature[ edit ] When defining literature in its broadest possible sense including all products of "literacy", what becomes primarily interesting about a literate community is the manner in which literacy and literature is used.
Which topics are chosen to be written and spoken about? And why did they do it? Which genres of literature are found in Mesoamerica? The answer to this question is complex and is the topic of the rest of this article that will try to describe and resume what is known about the genres and functions of indigenous Mesoamerican literatures.
Three major subjects of Mesoamerican literatures can be identified: Religion, time and astronomy: Mesoamerican civilizations shared an interest in the recording and keeping track of time through observation of celestial bodies and religious rituals celebrating their different phases.
Not surprisingly a large portion of the Mesoamerican literature that has been delivered down through time to us deals exactly with this kind of information. Particularly the true precolumbian literature such as the Mayan and Aztec codices deal with calendrical and astronomical information as well as describing the rituals connected to the passing of time.
History, power and legacy: Another large part of the Precolumbian literature is found carved into monumental structures such as stelae, altars and temples. This kind of literature typically documents power and heritage, memorize victories, ascension to rulership, dedications of monuments, marriages between royal lineages.
Mythical and fictive genres. Mostly present in postconquest versions but often relying on oral or pictorial traditions the mythical and narrative literature of Mesoamerica is very rich, and we can only guess as to how much has been lost.
Some texts are sort of every day literature such as descriptions of objects and their owners, graffiti inscriptions, but these only constitutes a very small part of the known literature. This makes it difficult for modern day scholars to distinguish between whether an inscription in a Mesoamerican script represents spoken language or is to be interpreted as a descriptive drawing.
The only Mesoamerican people known without doubt to have developed a completely glottographic or phonetic script is the Maya, and even the Mayan script is largely pictorial and often shows fuzzy boundaries between images and text.
Scholars disagree on the phoneticity of other Mesoamerican scripts and iconographic styles, but many show use of the Rebus principle and a highly conventionalised set of symbols. Hieroglyphic Stair of Copan recording the history of Copan with glyphs on its 62 steps. The inscriptions of Naj Tunich records the arrival of noble pilgrims to the sacred cave.
The tomb inscriptions of Pacal the famous ruler of Palenque. The function of these kinds of historical inscriptions also served to consoliate the power of the rulers who used them also as a kind of propaganda testimonies to their power. Most commonly monumental hieroglyphocal texts describe: Victories and conquest Alliances: Dedications of monuments and buildings The epigrapher David Stuart writes about the differences in content between the monumental hieroglyphical texts of Yaxchilan and those of Copan:Sep 22, · Essay: Mayan Mathematics, Calendar, Astronomy and Maya Today The mathematical system of the Mayan Civilization was considered the most sophisticated system in the continent of America.
The most noteworthy discovery of the Mayans is their understanding of the concept of zero.
Jan 24, · Translated from the Qánjobál Maya language of Guatemala by Fernando Peñalosa. Methodologies and techniques of writing indigenous literature.
Anthropological and sociological aspects of indigenous literature. One thought on “ Mayan Writers ” Jona says: January 27, at pm. Most Mayan writing found on stelas, staircases, and in and on various ancient buildings tells us about a historical event.
In addition, much of the Mayan writing that has survived tells of weather predictions as well as astronomical predictions.
Most Mayan writing found on stelas, staircases, and in and on various ancient buildings tells us about a historical event. In addition, much of the Mayan writing that has survived tells of weather predictions as well as astronomical predictions. The hardest and most menial ancient Mayan jobs were reserved for the lowest class — the farmers and laborers.
Mayan life was centered on the class system that created deep societal divisions, and Mayans did jobs based on their station in life. The monarchy made up the ruling class, and they often. Books shelved as mayan: Popol Vuh by Anonymous, A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya by Linda Schele, The Maya by Michael D.