Life Within Classic Maya and the Matter of Permanence

ISBN-10: 0300196024
ISBN-13: 9780300196023
Edition: 2014
Authors: Stephen Houston
List price: $50.00
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Description: For the Classic Maya, who flourished in and around the Yucatán peninsula in the first millennium AD, artistic materials were endowed with an internal life. Far from being inert substances, jade, flint, obsidian, and wood held a vital essence,  More...

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Book details

List price: $50.00
Copyright year: 2014
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 3/25/2014
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 208
Size: 8.00" wide x 10.00" long x 0.90" tall
Weight: 2.244
Language: English

For the Classic Maya, who flourished in and around the Yucatán peninsula in the first millennium AD, artistic materials were endowed with an internal life. Far from being inert substances, jade, flint, obsidian, and wood held a vital essence, agency, and even personality. To work with these materials was to coax their life into full expression and to engage in witty play. Writing, too, could shift from hieroglyphic signs into vibrant glyphs that sprouted torsos, hands, and feet. Appearing to sing, grapple, and feed, they effectively blurred the distinction between text and image. In the first full study of the nature of Maya materials and animism, renowned Mayanist scholar Stephen Houston provides startling insights into a Pre-Columbian worldview that dramatically contrasts with western perspectives. Illustrated with more than one hundred photographs, images, and drawings, this beautifully written book reveals the Maya quest for transcendence in the face of inevitable death and decay.

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