viernes, 11 de enero de 2013

Feeding the Masses at Miami Science Museum

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Feeding the Masses

In a land of volcanoes, jungles and forests, rocky soils and swampy flats, without beasts of burden or metal tools, the Maya achieved a sophisticated agricultural system that allowed at their peak the establishment of cities as large or larger than those in Europe.

After the hunter-gatherer period, the first organized agriculture developed along the coastal waterways and marches. Later maize agriculture was the foundation of civilization. Populations in densely forested regions, such as El Petén, “The cradle of the Maya civilization”, in Guatemala, developed “slash-and-burn” agriculture. They learned that the approach to feeding the masses was effective water management. They created forest gardens, raised field and terrace land-use techniques, and they farmed the “bajos”, the low-lying seasonally wet regions. They succeeded in a harsh environment.

Feb 13 2013
8-9:30 PM
Miami Science Museum

The Institute of Maya Studies meets at the Miami Science Museum,
 3280 South Miami Avenue, across from Vizcaya

lunes, 7 de enero de 2013

Lecture: Maya Migration in Modern Mexico: The Case of the Yucatán Peninsula

Foto: Cancun yamil luum source:

Maya Migration in Modern Mexico: The Case of the Yucatán Peninsula
by Dr. Bianet Castellanos, Associate Professor, American Studies, University of Minnesota 

Through an ethnography of Maya migration within Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, M. Bianet Castellanos analyzes the foundational role indigenous peoples play in the development of the modern nation-state and tourist centers. As a free trade zone and Latin America’s most popular destination, Cancún, Mexico, is more than just a tourist town. It is not only actively involved in the production of transnational capital but also forms an integral part of the state’s modernization plan for rural, indigenous communities. Indeed, Maya migrants make up more than a third of the city’s population. Castellanos examines how the tourist center of Cancún came to be equated with modernity, how this city has shaped the political economy of the peninsula, and how indigenous communities engage with this vision of contemporary life. Tourism and the social stratification that results from migration have created conflict among the Maya. At the same time, this work asserts, it is through engagement with modernity and its resources that the Maya are able to maintain their sense of indigeneity and community.

Friday, January 25, 2013
 (7:30 pm, Giddens Learning Center 100E, Hamline University, Saint Paul, MN 55104. Members and students free, visitors $5.00).