With so much focus on the Mayan calendar and 2012 this year, Stetson University’s Latin American studies program and Artists and Lecturers Committee have planned a Mayan Week, April 3 through 5, featuring a lecture by a Maya cultural activist, a demonstration by a Maya weaver and showing of a film. All programs are free and open to the public.
Details of Mayan Week include:
Tuesday, April 3, 7 p.m. – “The Mayan World at the Close of the 13th B’ak’tun,” a presentation by “Kaxhin” Gaspar González, in the Rinker Auditorium of the Lynn Business Center, 345 N. Woodland Blvd., DeLand. Guatemalan Maya (Q’anjob’al language) cultural activist Gaspar González is the most prolific of all contemporary Maya writers and is widely considered to be the first Maya novelist. “Kaxhin” is his Guatemalan name. In addition to his published scholarly works, poetry and painting, González has written the only book about the year 2012 by a Maya author: 13 Bak’tun: Mayan Visions of 2012 and Beyond. The book was published in 2011 and was translated into English by Stetson Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures Dr. Robert Sitler.
Wednesday, April 4, 7 p.m. – A showing of the film “What do the Maya say about 2012?” in the duPont-Ball Library, lower level, Room 25, accessed from the Nemec Courtyard on the north side of the library, 134 E. Minnesota Ave., DeLand.
Thursday, April 5, 7 p.m. – “A Mayan Life: An Evening with Nicolasa Jerónimo” (Maya weaver) in the duPont-Ball Library, lower level, Room 25, accessed from the Nemec Courtyard on the north side of the library, 134 E. Minnesota Ave., DeLand.
Jerónimo is a master weaver from the Mam-speaking Mayan community of Todos Santos Cucumatan. This will be an intimate evening to listen to her life story while she demonstrates the fine art of textile creation.
Maya weaver Nicolasa Jeronimo will share her life story while she demonstrates the fine art of textile creation at StetsonU Thursday, April 5.
Sitler, director of Stetson’s Latin American studies program and author of The Living Maya: Ancient Wisdom in the Era of 2012, is an expert on the Maya and 2012. After earning his Ph.D. at The University of Texas atAustin, where he studied under the famous Mayanist Linda Schele, Sitler has spent the past 35 years experiencing life with the people of Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. He has spent time in 13 language groups of the 30 Maya languages.
Sitler is perhaps the only scholar who’s interviewed the Maya people about 2012 and the cultural misperceptions over the Maya and the 2012 calendar. He is part of a global movement to educate people about the truth related to the Maya and 2012: that the calendar will not end (a large cycle will come to an end, but a new cycle starts the next day); that the Maya have never said the world is going to end; and that the Maya people are still alive and well. His website, Maya Perspectives on 2012, can be found at: http://www2.stetson.edu/~rsitler/perspectives/.
For more information about Mayan Week at Stetson, contact Robert Sitler at (386) 822-7281 or firstname.lastname@example.org.