Northwestern University

Jan
28
Mon 3:00 PM

Anthropology Colloquium: Lisa J. Lucero, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

When: Monday, January 28, 2019
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM  

Where: 1810 Hinman Avenue, 104, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Nancy Hickey   847.467.1507

Group: Anthropology Colloquia and Events

Category: Lectures & Meetings

Description:

A Cosmology of Conservation in the Ancient Maya World

In this paper I will present a cosmology quite different from our Cartesian Western one, especially because the Maya worldview privileges the entirety of the world in which they lived. I will show how such a view promoted biodiversity and conservation based on how the Classic Maya (c. 250-850 CE) interacted and engaged with their environment. This cosmology is illustrated through a discussion of how the Maya engaged with the 25 pools of Cara Blanca, Belize. The Maya considered openings in the earth, such as caves and bodies of water, as portals to the Otherworld, through which they could communicate with gods and ancestors, a practice manifested in offerings. As such, some areas were left untouched by settlement and farming, which in turn promoted biodiversity and conservation. The Maya, like many other non-industrial societies, can teach us much about moving forward in our Anthropocene world with its ever-changing climate.

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