This seminar is a general and systematic introduction to the cosmology, religion, and ritual practices of the ancient Maya. Mythological and other related texts and images, especially from the sites of Palenque and Copan, will be queried to understand how the Maya understood creation and to construct a point of departure for the examination of ritual art, which includes such diverse objects as incense burners, bundles, headdresses, masks, stela, altars, and cache vessels, that were either believed to embody deities and other spiritual forces and/or were the focus of ritual devotion. Additionally, we will explore the art historical and cultural factors that guided the formal development of ritual art, and how changes in style and modes of representation suggest corresponding changes in ritual practices. A central theoretical goal of this seminar is to build a bridge between the disciplines of art history and anthropology so that an emic and more complex understanding is gained of representation's role in ritual and religion. This project requires viewing the Maya's ritual use of art within a wider, cross-cultural context that compares it to not only other Mesoamerican traditions, but also to other pre-industrial societies outside the Americas.
COURSE FORMAT: Seminar
Level: UGRD Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART Grading Mode: Graded
Prerequisites: NONE Links to Web Resources For This Course.
Last Updated on MAR-30-2006
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