Underwaterworld Iconography of the Classic Maya (90 minutes)
Speaker: Nicholas Hellmuth, Ph.D.
The Maya underworld was an underwater world. Dr. Hellmuth will guide us through the mythology and iconography of the Maya underwaterworld. Using a multi-disciplinary approach and a scientist's keen eye for tropical flora and fauna, Dr. Hellmuth will decipher the design motifs of the supernatural plants, animals, and creatures that signal underwaterworld-related aspects of the Maya cosmos and belief systems.
You'll acquire an enhanced baseline understanding of the symbolism of the sacred shark and waterlily and other flora and fauna; the abstracted or abbreviated representations of these things in Maya art, and the status of scientific efforts to document and preserve the corresponding living plants and animals that are associated with the Maya cosmos.
Sacred Plants of the 6th-9th Century Maya of Mexico, Belize,
Guatemala, and Honduras (90 minutes)
Speaker: Nicholas M. Hellmuth, Ph.D.
Plants were not only a central component of the Classic Mayas' physical environment, they richly populated and functioned in the Maya cosmos, and were highly significant in culture and ritual. To deepen your knowledge of the roles of sacred plants such as maize, cacao, flor de Mayo, hule (a rubber tree), the water lily, and a host of other sacred plants and flowers, Dr. Hellmuth will discuss the importance of the Mayas' sacred plants, their uses, and distribution in the Maya world.
You'll gain a sense of the interrelationship of Maya cosmology, botany, culture, agriculture, and history represented in the concept of sacred plants. We'll get a glimpse of Dr. Hellmuth's extensive collection of images showing both living specimens of plants and plant products, and the botanical motifs related to Maya sacred plants in architecture, murals, and pottery.
Ethno-botany: Plants Utilized by the Maya from Classic Times through Today
Speaker: Nicholas M. Hellmuth, Ph.D. (90 minutes)
We know that plants served an extensive role in the Mayas' relationship with their deities. Back in the earthly Maya realm, what's for supper?
Across the diverse terrain of the Maya world, a wide variety plants served the nutritional needs of the people. From the familiar cacao and vanilla to the odd-looking, night-blooming pitaya, Dr. Hellmuth will orient you to the interesting and exotic fruits and vegetables used by the Maya from pre-Columbian times through today.