Sunday afternoon I delivered an exhibit of a Maya writing workshop I am teaching this summer. Based on a little system I created focused on children and teenagers, kids were able to experience what is to write with ancient Maya glyphs.
Maya writing is based on a system of syllables rather than letters like in latin-based writing such as English or Spanish. Syllables are represented with glyphs, as well as words or verbs. With this syllable script, kids were able to write their name with the Maya glyphs of old (through the phonetic system — that is, based with pure sounds).
This event took place in northern Mexico City metro area. And was invited to continue doing such work, not only on ancient Maya writing, but also on my art and photography work.
The reaction from teens and children was amazing. There is genuine curiosity towards ancient Mexican heritage, especially in this Trump-driven news where Mexicans are stubbornly minimized to mere criminals. We were once great artists, poets, and articulate men and women of science. And the itch continues to become what we once were, amid governments’ agendas to suppress ancient knowledge.
Oddly enough the interest of foreigners is well-known, and we as Mexicans should learn to appreciate our history just as outsiders do. Fending off politicians that jump into the anti-Mexican rhetoric, like Donald Trump, should not be the priority of Mexicans, but to look back at what we were able to accomplish. By learning Maya writing we can actually learn to read again our own works sculpted on towering buildings instead of letting Mel Gibson set the tone about our own history with lies — like human sacrifice. No need to rely on Macy’s boycott, if we actually become what they don’t want us to be — better persons.
Learning to write Maya is also important for the sake of art and honing creativity. It is pure calligraphy, and kids learn to make different forms and building the different glyphs.