Conflicting Essays in scholarship which have been the most engaging research job I have ever done. I have also added, over the years, queries about our "dated" geology with their "computerized" confirmations together with climate changes denied since 1963. The Ten-O'clock News have been telling us to change our clocks for DSL and back again BUT no one as noticed it has been changed, more than a few years ago, from March 31 and October 31, to a week or so earlier or even a week or so later.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The "History Dancers"

 


      In 1982, I made a trip on the bus through Mexico.  It was an interesting but long ride from Laredo to Tapachula in Chiapas.  In the first leg of that journey, I met three people from Tiajuana, who took me for a "financial" overnight  ride, but at that time, I did not mind it at all.  Since it was more like a "propina" than anything else, I went along with the adventure.

       During one day-stop-over in Oxaca, we went to visit the mother of the gentleman who was in the group.  We arrived early in the afternoon. The small village was in the middle of a historic "dance" program. After meeting the tiny mama-viejita who was a gracious lady in her adobe "cottage," we went to view the dance and narration about the arrival of the Conquistadores. Free sodas were offered and the dance lasted, for me, much too long. The Aztec costumes that I had seen on the post cards in the Oaxaca hotel, but here those exact costumes had gotten a bit tattered after so many years of use during that festive time each year.

      Eventually, after saying our goodbyes, we were on our way home in the VW bug in which we had arrived, but. with less light after dark, the ride over the almost invisible ruts in the road made a very uncomfortable journey back to the hotel. We bounced and jounced all over that dirt road and, as we did, 9(the dull, boring dance was put out of my mind until…

      It was the year 1992. when I was at a Christmas party and met an interesting lady named Jan Adams who was interested in the Mexican culture, mainly the Maya. We got to know each other very well. She was very interested in various aspects of Maya astronomy as it related to the rest of the world, i.e. India, and Persian. I listened with half-an-ear since I had not gotten into that phase of my research at all. My interest in astronomy was stifled when I found the calculations needed for tracing an orbit of a star or planet, was in Calculus, not a field that I was adept.

      Some months after I met her, she acquired a book called The Glorious Constellations, a thick, heavy volume, that some ten years later, I was to discover, contained information that was worth its weight in gold. However, at this point in time, she became all excited about a drawing made by Linda Schele for her book called the Maya Cosmos.  The drawing was from a vase photographed by Justin Kerr  (K- 5977) which portrayed  Holmul dancers with a great bamboo rack of various creatures on their backs.  As it turned out, there was only one dancer who was repeated in different poses around the vase that had also been explored for its symbols by  R. E. Merwin & G. C. Vaillant in 1932, The Ruins of Holmul, Guatemala  at Harvard University  Peabody Museum and later by Dorie Reents-Budet & Reents, D. J. in 1985, as her thesis called  The Late Classic Holmul Style Polychrome Pottery at the of Texas at Austin.      

     Jan insisted that it had a strong connection to the sky charts she found in the Constellation book.                 .
Sky Chart from G. Sesti's book on the Constellations and
Linda Schele's version of Justin Kerr's vase from Holmul.
      I did not even attempt the connection, Jan saw in those sky charts, until I decided to write about and presented (badly) a paper called The Creation of the Maya [World]. And suddenly, I was writing about such a connection with the above drawings. Until late in 2011, I was still swearing that I was not writing about astronomy, but every paper or book I wrote had very strong ties to the stars. However, it was not until I wrote about the Popol Vuh the third time, did I finally realize  the [hidden text as referred to in Part One] in the various translations were telling the world that there is important informaiton there as an astronomy event, as in the above picture inferred by the fire/feathers that emerge out of the bird's eye and out of the dragon/serpent's mouth.

     The dancers, whether they were in Oaxaca, or any other part of Mesoamerica, were actually teaching those who had little formal schooling so they too could know the histories, the rulers, the conquests and the astronomy of their land. The stories the actors narrate and dance during their performances were to remind people the importance of their past. No one dancing group did all the history, but each had their cultural area and the events that had occurred, so the dancers were able to teach the Traditions and the Lore of the Land.

      Do we know what the dancers are inferring during the narrations and the dances?  Not all the time. The Dance of the Conquistadores, outside of Oaxaca was abundantly clear, but the Astronomy of the Hulmul Dancer, or that of the four Voladores or other such actors portrayed on the vases, and on the stelae, are only partially understood. Usually the display is considered to be a "transformation" of the dancer into some religious aspect of the gods, when it has only been history and astronomy lessons for those who cannot read all the glyphs.

      If the "transformation" is a valid description then all professors and teachers in the schools around the world become "gods."  I think the description should read teachers, actors, or professors became "professionals," and are not "transformed into gods."

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