30 January 2008

Mayan Glyphs Depict the Ceremonial Importance of Birds Many Centuries Ago

Dramatic bird-motif items are depicted by glyphs from many centuries in the past depict how the winged ones of the tropical forest-lands were an integral component of the garb worn by ruling lords and shamen of the Mayan culture, which was at a peak recognized as being extant about 15 centuries ago. This culture of central America obviously attributed a profound importance to birds.

Birds had an obvious role with the deity figures attributed to the leaders of the local tribes.

This status is vividly shown by stone glyphs which adorn temples of the classic Mayan period at locales then known as Naranjo, Uaxactun, Yaxchilan, Yucatec and other places at what is presently known as Yucatan, southern Mexico or Guatemala, and elsewhere places in the vicinity.

Bird ornamentals were an integral aspect of the glorious headdress worn by Mayan lords. One scholarly work noted that the ceremonial attire "worn by the Maya true man and his cohorts was often so elaborate that it was difficult to think of their moving through the jungle while wearing it."

Several depictive bird hieroglyphics represent a period of profound importance for birds. The winged ones had an unsurpassed role in mystical and ceremonial life of these ancient people, based on the exquisite studies by scholars of the ancient times who could decipher symbology to something of meaning for ready understanding by others of lesser understanding.

Their work indicates the vitality of birds in the culture, as shown by studied glyphs. Prominent birds such as quetzals, macaws, guans, pelicans, eagles, owls, vultures and other bird types prominent enough to be depicted by bird glyphs meant to be permanent messages.

Two exquisite glyphs are denoted from Naranjo, in northeast Guatemala.

Feather covered shaman with associated glyphs.

Feather adorned shaman.

At Uaxactun in northern Guatemala, a shamen is depicted with a macaw atop his head:

Several glyphs from Yaxchilan, on the Usamacinta river, along the boundary of southern Mexico and Guatemala, prominently indicate the role of birds for the lords and shamen.

Shaman and aide with multiple feather adornments to the depiction.

Supplicant with pelican appearing bird on its head, appears like a pelican, with something in its mouth.

Shamen holding crosses adorned with bird figures.

Shaman holding snake-handled object with an aide.

Shamen Chiefs dramatically adorned in a phantasmagoria of feathers and other birdly depictions.

Feather-adorned Shamen with multiple glyphs which present a message of importance enough to be hewn in stone.

Several smaller glyphs with a bird motif are also known from this locality.

Birds are also depicted in other representations from the great Mayan culture when it was at a peak of native culture:

Harpy Eagle representation.

Ocellated Turkey representation.

Representations of the screech owl of Yucatan.

Macaws representations.

Quetzal/Vulture representations.

Additional glyphs noted in the history of the Mayans can be appreciated and somewhat understood by spending some time at the library and researching the topic. It is a rich history of ancient times when birds had a role of importance that is unsurpassed, and otherwise.

The vital importance of birds in the life of the people continued. It is readily shown by what may be the first bird guide in the American continent a thousand years later. In a few centuries the bird-feather headdress, and other birdly items, were of vital ceremonial importance to each of many Indian tribes, especially on the plains of northern America.


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