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Actualizado: 20 jul 2019


From Stone and Bone to Graphic Arts…The 2,000 year old Journey of Popul Vuh Imagery.

Purpose of the Project: For Maya Youth to study the artistic media of the Popul Vuh from Stone Images to Contemporary Arts. Many, perhaps most, Maya youth are not familiar with the ancient origins of the Popul Vuh, their Creation Story. They all know the Popul Vuh and it is very sacred in their culture, but the origin site where it was first written (carved monuments) has been lost over time.

Proposed Particpants: 6-8 Maya Youth, ages 15-22, each community, from some of the following communities: Zunil, Momostenango, Santiago Atitlan, Tecpan, Chimaltenango. Each community will have the youth accompanied by 2-3 adults who can also participate in the project activities.

Foreign Particpants: Some foreigners could find it very interesting to participate in this trip. Advantages: it will be a cultural and scenic trip; a unique opportunity to learn along with Maya people; your participation can underwrite the cost of a student; you will be hosted by Maya Conservancy and its knowledgable Board Members. Participants could join one or more of the workshops.

Cost: Students will receive scholarships, lodging, food, and transportation. Adults will receive same and will be paid to accompany students. As this is a preliminary proposal, costs are not known, but $300-$500 a week per student is a likely figure.



1) For Maya youth to acquire an historical grasp of the enduring Creation Story, the Popul Vuh , thru constant images in changing media.

2) To inspire individual artistic creativity.

Process: A Series of 3-4 day workshops led by different Artists and Artisans. The teachers will be experts in the Arts of : Stone Carving, Bone Carving, Ceramics, Painting, Murals, and Graphic Arts.

Time Frame: To hold the 4 workshops within a one year, or 1 and ½ year time frame. Tentatively Workshop 1 will be help August 9th -13th,2013. Workshop 1: Three days in Tapachula/Izapa. This will include: Visits to the archaeological site of Izapa that will introduce students to the 2,000 year old Calendar origins; and to the first Popul Vuh images, carved in stone monuments. Visits to the local Planetarium to understand correlations to the Night Sky and incidents in the Popul Vuh. Talks by Abelino Becerra and others. Visits to local museum to see monuments and other artifacts.

Workshop 2: A three or four day visit to see Copan and learn its history. Talks by archaeologist David Sedat and others to speak of the monuments and imagery of Copan. Workshops by local experts in stone carving and bone carving. Each student will work with a small flat stone for engraving an image. Each student will have a piece of bone(cow) to learn how to carve an image. A unique piece from Copan is the bone Cosmic Crocodile.

📷Workshop 3: Location to be determined. It will be necessary to have a kiln and a ceramics teacher. Possibilities are Antigua, Xela, Guatemala City. A four day workshop to have an introduction to ceramics. Shaping, mixing, firing of clay. The ¨textbook¨ will include 600 years of Popul Vuh images from the Classic Maya era. Perhaps students can learn some beginning steps of painting on clay.

Workshop 4: Contemporary Images of the Popul Vuh. Mural Painting and Graphics. A possible location in Xela with a Mural artist and a Graphic Arts Teacher. Perhaps An introduction to drawing or painting would be possible.


This proposal is preliminary. I welcome suggestions, comments, and expressions of interest in this project. Would you like to participate in person? Would you like to underwrite the cost of a Maya student? Other? Georgeann Johnson, President of the Maya Conservancy

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