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788 - "Ritual Behavior Through Time: The Prehispanic, Colonial, and Contemporary Maya."

17.07.2012 | 08:00 - 13:30

Convener 1: Marianne, Gabriel (Abt. für Altamerikanistik und Ethnologie, Universität Bonn , Bonn, Germany / Deutschland)
Convener 2: Gabrielle, Vail (New College of Florida, Sarasota, Ud States of Am / USA)

Rituals and ceremonies occupy a special place in cultural transmission: they reveal structures and key symbols of the respective cultures. Maya culture demonstrates a rich tradition of rituals and ceremonies that give testimony to the cultural construction of the natural and social environment, as attested by prehispanic and colonial artifacts and documents, as well as through the contemporary performance of rituals.

The perception that the universe is ordered in the form of a quincunx and interactions with natural and supernatural powers led to specific cultural responses among the Maya that have left traces of ritual life of the prehispanic, colonial, and contemporary Maya culture that, in certain cases, permit us to recognize the persistence and adaptation of specific ritual forms over time. Life cycle rituals, rituals of social integration, and rituals of protection such as agricultural ceremonies and festivals, prognostications, and so forth continue to form the backbone of Maya culture today.

In this symposium we attempt to describe and analyze rituals from Maya culture in terms of the diverse ways in which they have appeared or been documented in order to perceive their implicit structures and try to understand their inherent meanings.

Keywords: Ritual Behavior, maya culture, key symbols, prehispanic and colonial, contemporary

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