Origin Stories Illuminate Ancient American Art & Culture


Each individual animation illustrates the commencing of one of the communities. For Mesoamerica, we selected an excerpt from the “Popol Vuh,” a sixteenth-century e-book in K’iché Maya, that recounts the formation of the earth and the 1st peoples, between other tales. The K’iché individuals dwell in the highlands of Guatemala and converse just one of the lots of Mayan languages. In spite of its sixteenth-century origins, the stories in the Popol Vuh exhibit a potent link with ancient Maya objects. Lots of of the very same people from the e book seem on vessels and other historic Maya visual material as Dr. Oswaldo Chinchilla-Mazariegos illustrates in his reserve Artwork and Fantasy of the Historic Maya.

The animation in Central America was influenced by a music sung by the Bribri folks of Costa Rica and northern Panama. It tells of the development of the 1st individuals and how they acquired to make a partnership with the earth, and with each other that sustains them. The Bribri nonetheless sing this music right now, and we are grateful to the work of anthropologist Cervantes Gamboa.

For the Andes, we chose a story that loosely relates to the will work on display screen. “The Legend of Ñaymlap” is an historic tale from Peru’s northern coastal communities and supposedly data the origins of the Sicán or Lambayeque dynasty (about 750–1375 CE). In this origin story, there is a moral about the marriage between the deities and the land. As the ruler turns away from the deities, rain and floods devastate the land, starving the local community. We chose to document this story in Mochica, a practically extinct Indigenous language, because it is the likeliest language to have been spoken by these people. Matthias Urban from the College of Tübingen translated the tale into Mochica. Hola Combo labored with the Central de Interpretación y Traducción en Lenguas Indígenas u Originarias del Peru to file the tale in Spanish and Mochica.



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