Baktun 13: A Guatemalan Cultural Festival

Calendario Maya/Foto Smithsonian.

Friday – Sunday, December 14-16, 2012

10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Potomac Atrium and various museum locations

Baktun 13 looks at the end of the current Maya calendar cycle on Dec. 21 and at the new calendar cycle with a series of lectures and traditional Mayan celebratory foods, music, and dance.

Learn about the Mayan glyph Baktun 13 as presented in a Guatemalan sawdust carpet, the museum’s new education website exploring the myths and facts of the Mayan calendar system, and research by leading Maya scholars.


Maya from the Inside: The 13 B’ak’tun as Challenge to the Western Mind

Victor Montejo (Jakaltek Maya)


Saturday, December 15, 2012

2:00 PM

Rasmuson Theater with simultaneous webcast

December 21, 2012, signals the much-anticipated passing of the “13 B’ak’tun” in the ancient American indigenous system of time keeping.  As we approach the Mayan Calendar day that marks the turn of eras, Dr. Victor Montejo offers a fascinating presentation on the deep meaning of millennial Maya culture and history from the perspective of a noted Native scholar and author.

Victor Montejo is a Jakaltek Maya originally from Guatemala. Previously a professor and chair of the Native American Studies Department at the University of California, Davis, Dr. Montejo now lives in Guatemala.  He was formerly Minister of Peace in the Guatemalan Republic.  Montejo also served as a member of the Guatemalan National Congress from 2004 to 2008.

Víctor Montejo/Foto Smithsonian.

An internationally recognized author, Montejo’s major publications include 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, as well as in developing a curriculum in Native knowledge and epistemology in his new manuscript, Mayalogue: An Interactionist Theory of Indigenous Cultures.


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