Lacandon Dream Symbolisim

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Author: Bruce, Robert D

Year: 1975-9

Publisher: Ediciones Euroamericanas

Place: Mexico City


2 volumes: Volume 1 Dream Symbolism and Interpretation among the Lacandon Mayas of Chiapas, Mexico viii+131 pages with plates; volume 2 Dictinary, Index and Classifications of Dream Symbols x+[125]-131 pages with plates, bibliography and appendices. Octavo (8 3/4" x 6 1/4") issued in stiff wrappers. Volume one limited to 2000 copies, volume two to 1000 copies. 1st editions.

The Lacandon escaped Spanish control throughout the colonial era by living in small, remote farming communities in the jungles of what is now Chiapas and the Guatemalan department of El Petén, avoiding contact with whites and Ladinos. Lacandon customs remain close to those of their pre-Columbian Mesoamerican ancestors. As recently as the late 19th century some bound the heads of infants, resulting in the distinctively shaped foreheads seen in Classic Maya art. And well into the 20th century, they continued using bows and arrows and making arrowheads from flint they quarried in the rain-forest. Today they sell versions of these to tourists.Until the mid-20th century the Lacandon had little contact with the outside world. They worshiped their own pantheon of gods and goddesses in small huts set aside for religious worship at the edge of their villages. These sacred structures contain a shelf of clay incense burners, each decorated with the face of a Lacandon deity. The Lacandon also made pilgrimages to ancient Maya cities to pray and to remove stone pebbles from the ruins for ritual purposes. They believe that the Maya sites are places where their gods once dwelled before moving to new domains they constructed in the sky and below the earth. The Maya site of Bonampak, famous for its preserved temple murals, became known to the outside world when Lacandóns led American photographer Giles Healy there in 1946.A few Lacandon continue their traditional religious practices today, especially in the north around Lakes Naja and Metzabok. In the south, a yellow fever epidemic in the 1940s took many lives and caused a high degree of social disruption. The southern group abandoned their pantheon of gods in the 1950s and were later Christianized through the efforts of the Summer Institute of Linguistics. Southern Lacandon helped SIL missionaries translate the New Testament and parts of the Old Testament into their language. But in the north the spiritual leader Chan K'in, who lived to an advanced age and died in 1996, helped keep the ancient traditions alive. Chan K'in urged his people to maintain a respectful distance from the outside world, taking some things of value, but not allowing outside influences to overwhelm the Lacandon way of life.


Spines sunned, light edge wear, corners buped else a very good set.

SOLD 2014

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