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Chamulas in the World of the Sun: Time and Space in a Maya by Gary H. Gossen

By Gary H. Gossen

The oral culture of the Chamula humans in southern Mexico is wealthy and sundry in its humor, aspect, type, imagery, and perception. Descendants of the traditional Maya, the Chamulas use language in a fashion that expresses their particular realizing of the social and cosmic order to which they belong. The Sun/Christ deity presides over this universe. during this leading edge learn in anthropology and folklore, Gary Gossen bargains an excellent research of the cosmology, symbolism, and verbal habit of the Chamulas, dependent upon his systematic collections in their oral traditions in the framework in their personal folks category scheme of language. now not unusually, the underlying constitution of Chamula different types of time and area additionally presents a tremendous key to knowing the fashion, constitution, and function in their folklore. Cosmology is hence utilized in this e-book as a metalanguage for reporting and studying one other language, the reservoir of symbols and knowledge in Chamula oral culture. Mr. Gossen's research runs the gamut from kid's improvised video games and songs via courtroom language and oratory to the proper language for joking, gossip, sacred narrative, prayer and formality formulation. additionally, his description and research are augmented via greater than a hundred and eighty abstracts of narrative texts and a number of other unique Chamula drawings. there's a solid probability that this e-book may perhaps emerge as considered as a vintage within the box of symbolic research of fantasy and oral culture. There are few, if any, released reports facing one of these magnificent number of texts and assisting ethnographic fabrics. -- Gary H. Gossen teaches anthropology on the college of California, Santa Cruz.

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Additional info for Chamulas in the World of the Sun: Time and Space in a Maya Oral Tradition

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The positive symbolic value of the north may also derive from Chamulas' awareness of the fact that the apparent position of the rising sun shifts northward on the eastern horizon during the increasingly longer days between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. This period is also associated with the first rains of the wet season (in early May) and with the beginning (also in late April or early May) of the annual growing cycle for highland crops. South, in contrast, is associated with night and the underworld in the daily cycle.

Mispia, a sacred mountain used for Chamula rain-making ritual 40. Tzontevitz, a sacred mountain in Chamula and dwelling place of the patron saint San Juan, of earth gods, and of the Chamula soul animals 41. Ojovitz, a sacred mountain in Chamula and home of earth gods (18) Chamulas in the World of the Sun barter basis. Personal illnesses of the soul, misfortunes incurred by an animal soul companion, injury by witchcraft, and misfortune caused by the wrath of the earth gods are the most frequent kinds of problems dealt with by shamans.

Thus, there is an overwhelming tendency of almost all Chamula ritual motion to follow a counterclockwise pattern. This direction is the horizontal equivalent of the sun's daily vertical path across the heavens from east to west. This transformation of the sun's path according to Chamula premises could be derived by imagining oneself facing the universe from the eastern horizon, as the sun does each The Community (33) morning, and "turning" the vertical solar orbit to the right so that it lay flat on the earth.

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