The Maya: A Very Short Introduction
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was never a single, unified Maya state or empire, but always numerous, evolving ethnic groups speaking dozens of distinct Mayan languages. The people we call "Maya" never thought of themselves as such; yet something definable, unique, and endlessly fascinating - what we call Maya culture - has clearly
existed for millennia. So what was their self-identity and how did Maya civilization come to be "invented?"
With the Maya historically subdivided and misunderstood in so many ways, the pursuit of what made them "the Maya" is all the more important. In this Very Short Introduction, Restall and Solari explore the themes of Maya identity, city-state political culture, art and architecture, the Maya concept of the cosmos, and the Maya experience of contact with - including invasion by - outsiders. Despite its brevity, this book is unique for its treatment of all periods of Maya
civilization, from its origins to the present.
Chapter 2 The Divine King
Chapter 3 The Writing Rabbit
Chapter 4 A Day in the Life
Chapter 5 Maya "Mysteries"
Chapter 6 Conquests
Chapter 7 Colonizations
Amara Solari is Professor of Art History and Anthropology at Penn State University. She is the co-author of 2012 and the End of the World: The Western Roots of the Maya Apocalypse, and author of Maya Ideologies of the Sacred: The Transfiguration of Space in Colonial Yucatan, and Idolizing Mary: Maya-Christian Icons in Early Modern Yucatan.