Will the World End on December 21? Ask a Maya!
Will the world end come to an end on December 21? We certainly hope not; we have some great webcasts coming up in January and February. But before we mention those, there’s a full weekend of webcasts to watch from the museum's Guatemalan festival December 15 & 16.
The name of festival,which takes place throughout the museum, is Bak´tun 13: A Guatemalan Celebration of Time. 13 Bak´tun—the date on the Maya Long Count calendar coinciding with December 21, 2012—marks the end of a 5,125-year era and a new beginning as the Long Count resets. Guatemala is the heart of traditional Maya territory, which extends through most of Central America, including southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Belize. Far from reaching the end of time, the Maya are very much a living culture today. Definitely something to celebrate!
All of the museum's live webcasts can be accessed via http://americanindian.si.edu/webcasts.
Bak´tun 13: A Guatemalan Celebration of Time | Webcast Schedule
The Ways of the Days: Maya Calendar Tradition and the Way of Life
Saturday, December 15, 11:30 am EST
Roderico Teni is a Maya–Qeqchi culture bearer who has worked on cultural preservation and social improvement in Maya communities of the Guatemalan highlands. He is also a Maya day-keeper, one of the spiritual guides who advise communities, in part by consulting the 260-day sacred calendar, Tzolk´in (called the Chol Q´ij in K´iche´ Mayan). Jose Barreiro, director of the museum’s Office of Latin American, will facilitate conversation about the Maya calendar and culture. Audience participation is welcomed, and our webcast audience is encouraged to participate via Twitter. Tweet your comments and questions to @SmithsonianNMAI using the hashtag #MayaCalendar.
Maya from the Inside: The 13 Bak´tun as Challenge to the Western Mind
Saturday, December 15, 2 pm EST
Victor Montejo, a Jakaltek Maya originally from Guatemala, will talk on the deep meaning of Maya culture and history. An internationally recognized scholar, Dr. Montejo is the author of several major publications, including Testimony: Death of a Guatemalan Village; Voices from Exile: Violence and Survival in Modern Maya History; Maya Intellectual Renaissance: Critical Essays on Identity, Representation and Leadership; Popol Vuh: Sacred Book of the Mayas; and Q´anil: Man of Lightning. His current projects focus on indigenous migration and transnationalism, and developing a curriculum in Native knowledge and epistemology in his new manuscript, Mayalogue: An Interactionist Theory of Indigenous Cultures. The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of his presentation. Again, webcast audience members may tweet comments and questions to @SmithsonianNMAI using the hashtag #MayaCalendar.
Bak’tun 13: A Guatemalan Celebration of Time
Sunday, December 16, noon EST
Three events will be featured in this webcast from the museum's Potomac Atrium: "Timeline of Guatemalan Fashion" shines a spotlight on Maya textiles from the 1930s to the present to show the changes that have impacted Maya textiles over the last 80 years. Following the look at textiles, enjoy the music of the traditional marimba under the direction of Fernando Salseño of Pequena Marimba Internacional. Finally, Grupo AWAL presents traditional dances from Concepcion Chiquirichapa in Guatemala. The dances are based on a cylindrical calendar cycle.
Bak’tun 13: A Guatemalan Celebration of Time
Sunday, December 16, 3 pm EST
festival events are repeated in this webcast: Traditional marimba under the direction of Fernando Salseño of Pequena Marimba
Internacional and a presentation of traditional dances from Concepcion
Chiquirichapa in Guatemala Grupo AWAL.
Upcoming Webcasts | January & February 2013
Assuming the world doesn’t end on December 21, more webcasts of events at the National Museum of the American Indian are coming in January and February.
This Indian Country: American Indian Activists and the Place They Made
Friday, January 18, 2 to 3 pm EST
Join noted historian Frederick E. Hoxie as he talks about his new book, This Indian Country: American Indian Activists and the Place They Made, about political activism that led to hard-won victories in the courts and civil rights campaigns, rather than on the battlefield. It is a story of both famous and obscure Indian lawyers, tribal leaders, activists, and commentators who have sought to bridge the distance between indigenous cultures and the political institutions of the United States through legal and political debate. Dr. Hoxie’s powerful narrative connects the individual to the tribe, the tribe to the nation, and the nation to broader historical processes. Dr. Hoxie is the winner of the 2012 American Indian History Lifetime Achievement Award and a founding trustee of the National Museum of the American Indian.
Out of Many: A Multicultural Festival of Music, Dance, and Story
January 18 to 20, 10 am to 5:30 pm EST
Who better than an Indian museum to say "Hail to the chief"? As our neighbor the U.S. Capitol hosts the presidential inauguration, we salute the occasion with a festival featuring music, dance, and storytelling throughout the museum. Check our online calendar as inauguration weekend approaches to see what we’re offering online. E pluribus unam!
Racist Stereotypes and Cultural Appropriation in American Sports
Thursday, February 7, 10 am to 5:45 pm EST
This program was originally scheduled for November 1, 2012, and was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy.
Missed a Webcast?
If you missed a live webcast that you really wanted to see, don’t worry. We post nearly all of our webcasts on the NMAI YouTube Channel. You may find the webcast you're looking for in one of our playlists or by clicking the Browse Videos tab, where posted videos appear in reverse chronological order.
—Mark Christal, NMAI