Time, History and Ritual in a K’iche’ Community
Title
Time, History and Ritual in a K’iche’ Community
Subtitle
Contemporary Maya Calendar Knowledge and Practices in the Highlands of Guatemala
Price
€ 51,00
ISBN
9789087283094
Format
Paperback
Number of pages
262
Language
English
Publication date
Dimensions
21 x 27.3 cm
Table of Contents
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Contents
Acknowledgements
Introduction
PART ONE: TIME CYCLES
I. The Chol Q’ij – the 260-day count
II. Time and Authority
III. Seasonality and Celebrations
PART TWO: EL BAILE DE LA CULEBRA
IV. Ritual Memory and History
V. Symbolism and Continuity
Discussion
Bibliography
APPENDIX A. Transcription of a Ceremonial Discourse
APPENDIX B. The Faces of the Days
APPENDIX C. Mnemonics for Ritual Discourses
APPENDIX D. The Movement of Blood
APPENDIX E. Tzijolaj
List of Figures
List of Tables

Time, History and Ritual in a K’iche’ Community

Contemporary Maya Calendar Knowledge and Practices in the Highlands of Guatemala

This work analyses ritual practices and knowledge related to the Mesoamerican calendar with the aim of contributing to the understanding of the use and conceptualization of this calendar system in the contemporary K’iche’ community of Momostenango, in the Highlands of Guatemala. The research presented here discusses the indigenous calendar system, forms of synergy between the Christian and the Highland Guatemalan calendar, the indigenous perception of history and continuity in time-related symbolism. Van den Akker argues that the social role of cultural anthropologists and archaeologists is to contribute to the ongoing process of cultural healing and spiritual recovery of the peoples that suffer(ed) from colonization and oppression. This study therefore places an emphasis on cultural continuity and approaches the continuation of Maya calendar practices as a possible tool for restoring breaks in social memory, which are caused by dramatic events such as colonization. Throughout this book it is argued that time is an authority which directs human behaviour in a cyclical manner through the landscape on a local and regional scale. Time is related to morality and cultural values, and a shared perception of time contributes to the cohesion of the community as it recreates and reaffirms the identity of its members by reiterating their shared social conventions and history. Finally, the conjunction of time and ritual provides a tool to overcome the rupture caused by death and to transmit messages from generation to generation over a long span of time.