tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

"Just the leftovers!" Pre-Christian ritual in highland Maya colonial documents

Author(s): Sergio Romero

Year: 2015

» Downloads & Basic Metadata

Summary

In this paper I will present an analysis of colonial texts in indigenous languages that describe or paraphrase pre-Hispanic ritual. I will present comparisons between the structure and poetics of such texts and those of contemporary Christian sacramental practice as attested in sixteenth and seventeenth century doctrines and catechisms. Based on the analysis of intertextuality, I will show that pre-Hispanic ritual genres became a template for the Spanish mendicant friars and their native collaborators charged with the translation of Catholic ritual and prayer into highland Maya languages. Eventually, this led to two opposed Christian ritual traditions. The first, represented by the Dominican Domingo de Vico's Theologia Indorum, closely followed pre-Hispanic poetic and lexical templates. The second, represented by the diocesan Antonio del Saz' sermons, sought to distance itself from any discursive repertoire with potential "pagan" associations. These two incarnations of Christian language were solutions to tensions among Spanish clergy resulting from different views of the Maya and of evangelization. However, they also reflected tensions among Maya elites torn between continuity and adaptation to Spanish colonial rule. Christian language underwent constant changes and readjustments but Spanish clergy never really succeeded in exorcizing the linguistic traces of pre-Hispanic ritual.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.


This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Cite this Record

"Just the leftovers!" Pre-Christian ritual in highland Maya colonial documents. Sergio Romero. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395108)


Keywords

General
Language Maya Ritual

Geographic Keywords
Mesoamerica


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America