Is it any wonder that people believe gods exist?
This looks like a very interesting new documentary about looting and the destruction of cultural heritage happening in the Maya region.
“If you don’t know the history of your culture, you don’t know anything.”
The scene of the temple being bulldozed and the human remains being pushed around like trash made me positively sick to my stomach. I wouldn’t exactly compare looting to rape as they do here, and I wish there were more Maya voices represented in the trailer, but the Nightfire Films website says “The story is told by villagers, looters, archaeologists, scholars, dealers and curators. For each, these vases have a radically different value and meaning,” which definitely makes me excited to watch this when I can!
“Today’s Maya regaining their history and culture by learning the glyphs and calendars of their ancestors and spreading the knowledge in their own communities.”
That’s the goal of this new indegogo being run by a fellow UCLA anthropologist, Bruce Love. I’ve heard of the organization “Mayas for ancient Mayan” before, but this is the first time I’ve seen their actual work in action. And I’m THRILLED that this is happening, especially that it is driven, not by Dr. Love, but by Maya communities themselves in their desire to revive ancient knowledge.
One of my biggest issues with modern archaeology and anthropology is that it is usually driven by outsiders, usually American or European scholars that set the research agenda in indigenous communities. I am always very excited to see internally driven projects that address issues and questions being asked by the people being “studied.”
Also, not incidentally, this is exactly the issue the novel I just finished addressed – the power inherent in having access to and knowledge about you own history. Though, of course, in my fantasy book access to ancient knowledge allows people to perform magic…