A better understanding of the mayans and their culture

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A better understanding of the mayans and their culture

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The name Guatemala, meaning "land of forests," was derived from one of the Mayan dialects spoken by the indigenous people at the time of the Spanish conquest in It is used today by outsiders, as well as by most citizens, although for many purposes the descendants of the original inhabitants still prefer to identify themselves by the names of their specific language dialects, which reflect political divisions from the sixteenth century.

Persons of mixed or non-indigenous race and heritage may be called Ladinoa term that today indicates adherence to Western, as opposed to indigenous, culture patterns, and may be applied to acculturated Indians, as well as others. A small group of African—Americans, known as Garifuna, lives on the Atlantic coast, but their culture is more closely related to those found in other Caribbean nations than to the cultures of Guatemala itself.

The national culture also was influenced by the arrival of other Europeans, especially Germans, in the second half of the nineteenth century, as well as by the more recent movement of thousands of Guatemalans to and from the United States.

There has been increased immigration from China, Japan, Korea, and the Middle East, although those groups, while increasingly visible, have not contributed to the national culture, nor have many of them adopted it as their own.

Within Central America the citizens of each country are affectionately known by a nickname of which they are proud, but which is sometimes used disparagingly by others, much like the term "Yankee. While at home, however, there is little sense that they share a common culture.

The most important split is between Ladinos and Indians. Garifuna are hardly known away from the Atlantic coast and, like most Indians, identify themselves in terms of their own language and culture.

Guatemala covers an area of 42, square milessquare kilometers and is bounded on the west and north by Mexico; on the east by Belize, the Caribbean Sea, Honduras and El Salvador; and on the south by the Pacific Ocean.

The country has a total of miles kilometers of coastline. Between the Motagua River and the Honduran border on the southeast there is a dry flat corridor that receives less than forty inches one hundred centimeters of rain per year. Although the country lies within the tropics, its climate varies considerably, depending on altitude and rainfall patterns.

The northern lowlands and the Atlantic coastal area are very warm and experience rain throughout much of the year. The Pacific lowlands are drier, and because they are at or near sea level, remain warm. The highlands are temperate. The coolest weather there locally called "winter" occurs during the rainy season from May or June to November, with daily temperatures ranging from 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the higher altitudes, and from 60 to 70 degrees in Guatemala City, which is about a mile above sea level.

Guatemala "Summer" denotes the period between February and May, when the temperature during the day in Guatemala City often reaches into the 80s. The Spanish conquerors preferred the highlands, despite a difficult journey from the Atlantic coast, and that is where they placed their primary settlements.

The present capital, Guatemala City, was founded in after a flood and an earthquake had destroyed two earlier sites. The highlands are still largely populated by their descendants. The eastern Motagua corridor was settled by Spaniards and is still inhabited primarily by Ladinos.

Large plantations of coffee, sugarcane, bananas, and cardamom, all grown primarily for export, cover much of the Pacific lowlands. These are owned by large, usually nonresident, landholders and are worked by local Ladinos and Indians who journey to the coast from highland villages for the harvest.

The census showed a total of 9, people, but estimates for reached twelve million, with more than 50 percent living in urban areas. The forty-year period of social unrest, violence, and civil war — resulted in massive emigration to Mexico and the United States and has been estimated to have resulted in one million dead, disappeared, and emigrated.

Some of the displaced have returned from United Nations refugee camps in Mexico, as have many undocumented emigrants to the United States.

The determination of ethnicity for demographic purposes depends primarily on language, yet some scholars and government officials use other criteria, such as dress patterns and life style. Thus, estimates of the size of the Indian population vary from 35 percent to more than 50 percent—the latter figure probably being more reliable.

The numbers of the non-Mayan indigenous peoples such as the Garifuna and the Xinca have been dwindling. Those two groups now probably number less than five thousand as many of their young people become Ladinoized or leave for better opportunities in the United States.

Spanish is the official language, but since the end of the civil war in Decembertwenty-two indigenous languages, mostly dialects of the Mayan linguistic family, have been recognized. The most widely spoken are Ki'che', Kaqchikel, Kekchi, and Mam.

A better understanding of the mayans and their culture

A bilingual program for beginning primary students has been in place since the late s, and there are plans to make it available in all Indian communities. Constitutional amendments are being considered to recognize some of those languages for official purposes.Students will be able to define who the Mayans were and develop a better understanding of the Mayan civilization by learning about Mayan culture.

Students will know the significance of the Mayan impact on the Americas by . The Totonac are/were a Mesoamerican culture along the Gulf Coast of Veracruz, possibly associated with the site of El Tajin.

Mayan Civilization - Mayans Lesson Plan

The famous Temple of Apollo at Patara was destroyed, possibly by St Nicholas, a bishop now better known as Santa Claus. Certainly he, like many other bishops, was a keen destroyer of other people's holy places in the area.

Mayan Believes About the Milky Way and the Constellations. The Mayans had great reverence for the cosmos and the Milky Way. Traditionally it was believed in the Mayan culture that the Milky Way was the “Tree of Life”. The individual stars in that formed the unique life yielding forces. The Incas was the largest Empire in South America in the Pre-Columbian era.

This civilization flourished in the areas of present-day Ecuador, Peru, and Chile and had its administrative, military and political center located at Cusco which lies in modern-day Peru. Identification. The name Guatemala, meaning "land of forests," was derived from one of the Mayan dialects spoken by the indigenous people at the time of the Spanish conquest in

A better understanding of the mayans and their culture
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