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Time and the Highland Maya (Woodrow Wilson Center Special) Paperback – March 1, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0826313584 ISBN-10: 0826313582 Edition: Revised

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Product Details

  • Series: Woodrow Wilson Center Special
  • Paperback: 309 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press; Revised edition (March 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826313582
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826313584
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,296,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Described as a landmark in the ethnographic study of the Maya, this study of ritual and cosmology among the contemporary Quiché Indians of highland Guatemala has now been updated to address changes that have occurred in the last decade.

About the Author

Barbara Tedlock is a Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Research Associate at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. She and her husband, noted antropologist Dennis Tedlock, were awarded Dorothy Doyle Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2006 by PEN New Mexico.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Thomas F. Ogara on July 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Professor Tedlock has presented us with what may be the definitive book on Maya timekeeping, at least as it is practiced today - and can we really tell exactly how it was practiced at any other time?
This is first and foremost a work of anthrpology, a fact which Professor Tedlock is very clear about from the start. Having said that, she states that in her viewpoint, cultural anthropologists cannot really take a "neutral" stand with regard to the material they are studying; she cites the example of the students of musicology and linguistics, whose expertise is measured in terms of their virtuosity or fluency in the medium they are studying. That being the case, can an anthropologist really provide a valid description of Mayan timekeeping unless he or she is actually willing to undergo the training of a timekeeper?
For the reader's information, a "timekeeper" is an individual who has been trained in the system of the Mayan calendar, understands the meaning of the days and can make predictions regarding whether certain actions are favorable or not at certain times. One may dismiss it as a form of astrology. Nevertheless, timekeeping was undeniably an important, even central, activity of the ancient Maya, and much of their history is unintelligible without reference to it. The value of Professor Tedlock's work, and of this book in particular, is found in the material that she can present to Mayan archeologists and epigraphers to help them understand their source material.
Professor Tedlock explains the process by which timekeepers were selected in the traditional Maya world, and the training and rituals which they must undergo. She also explains the meanings, in general, of the day names in the traditional divination calendar.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
This ethnography was written by a woman professor who undertook an apprenticeship among the Maya during the 1970s. It shows in that it has the type of detailed information that only a person who had entered into this system and had learned it from the inside out would know. The material on Maya astronomy is totally new and very important! The information on priest-shamans and shaman-priests I found particularly useful in understanding the debates about shamans, shamanhood, priests, and priesthood. I also recommend her husband's Mayan publications: the prize-winning Popol Vuh, Breath on the Mirror, Days from a Dream Almanac, and his newest book, the just released Rabinal Achi.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Gilham on December 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read this book before a visit to Guatemala and felt well informed when I saw some of the daykeepers at work in the church at Chichicastenango and in Santiago Atitlan. The Mayans have a fascinating system of beliefs and the Tedlocks have done an incredible amount of research for this work.
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