You are here

ANCIENT MAYA AFTERLIFE ICONOGRAPHY: TRAVELING BETWEEN WORLDS

Download pdf | Full Screen View

Date Issued:
2006
Abstract/Description:
The ancient Maya afterlife is a rich and voluminous topic. Unfortunately, much of the material currently utilized for interpretations about the ancient Maya comes from publications written after contact by the Spanish or from artifacts with no context, likely looted items. Both sources of information can be problematic and can skew interpretations. Cosmological tales documented after the Spanish invasion show evidence of the religious conversion that was underway. Noncontextual artifacts are often altered in order to make them more marketable. An example of an iconographic theme that is incorporated into the surviving media of the ancient Maya, but that is not mentioned in ethnographically-recorded myths or represented in the iconography from most noncontextual objects, are the "travelers": a group of gods, humans, and animals who occupy a unique niche in the ancient Maya cosmology. This group of figures is depicted journeying from one level or realm of the universe to another by using objects argued to bridge more than one plane of existence at a time. They travel by holding onto or riding objects familiar to the ancient Maya that held other-world or afterlife symbolic significance and that are connected to events related to birth, death, and leadership. This group of figures (the "travelers"), represented across time and space and on wide ranging media, provides insight and broadens what is currently understood about the ancient Maya view of life and death by indicating a persistent belief in the ability to move from one realm to another in the afterlife.
Title: ANCIENT MAYA AFTERLIFE ICONOGRAPHY: TRAVELING BETWEEN WORLDS.
0 views
0 downloads
Name(s): Wilson Mosley, Dianna, Author
Chase, Arlen , Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2006
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: The ancient Maya afterlife is a rich and voluminous topic. Unfortunately, much of the material currently utilized for interpretations about the ancient Maya comes from publications written after contact by the Spanish or from artifacts with no context, likely looted items. Both sources of information can be problematic and can skew interpretations. Cosmological tales documented after the Spanish invasion show evidence of the religious conversion that was underway. Noncontextual artifacts are often altered in order to make them more marketable. An example of an iconographic theme that is incorporated into the surviving media of the ancient Maya, but that is not mentioned in ethnographically-recorded myths or represented in the iconography from most noncontextual objects, are the "travelers": a group of gods, humans, and animals who occupy a unique niche in the ancient Maya cosmology. This group of figures is depicted journeying from one level or realm of the universe to another by using objects argued to bridge more than one plane of existence at a time. They travel by holding onto or riding objects familiar to the ancient Maya that held other-world or afterlife symbolic significance and that are connected to events related to birth, death, and leadership. This group of figures (the "travelers"), represented across time and space and on wide ranging media, provides insight and broadens what is currently understood about the ancient Maya view of life and death by indicating a persistent belief in the ability to move from one realm to another in the afterlife.
Identifier: CFE0001258 (IID), ucf:46915 (fedora)
Note(s): 2006-08-01
M.A.
Other, Office of Liberal and Interdisciplinary Studies
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Maya
underworld
afterlife
iconography
contextual
noncontextual
travelers
cosmology
gods
deities
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0001258
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

In Collections