[NB] If God would send his angelob

Continuing my time outside of the Anglosphere, I went to the library to refresh my acquaintance with Star Gods of the Maya and, misreading a a catalog number, ended up with an annotated version of the Chalam Balam of Chumayel as a bonus (Heaven Born Merida and Its Destiny, translated and annotated by Munro Edmunson).

It’s great stuff, a text written in mostly Classical Yucatec Maya interspersed with Latin and Spanish. The ‘angelob’ above? That’s a creolization of a Latin word (angelus) and Mayan grammar (-ob). I admit, I’m nerdy enough that this alone is so delightful as to have made checking out the book worthwhile.

But there is more, much more, including an extensive account of creation which fuses Maya and Christian sensibilities, as well as a diagram of the Trinity (Holy Spirit, Jesus, and Jeremiah, in case you didn’t know) that resemble diagrams for grimoire spirits. That latter bit makes me wonder if there is some non-grimoiric model for spirit diagrams that I don’t know about. Or, maybe, we’re just looking at another case of demons as trading zone (as David Gordon White is starting to dig into).

It’s also interesting to think of the Yucatan Peninsula as a contact zone. Look at this and consider the deeper historical connections the region might have with places like Cuba, for example. And consider it as part of the Caribbean present, too.

A map of the Gulf of Mexico with the isthmus of Florida, present-day New Orleans, and Cuba visible in proximity to the Yucatan Peninsula.
Boats, right?

I’m more enthusing than anything else, so that will probably do for now. More substance to come.

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4 thoughts on “[NB] If God would send his angelob

  1. John Michael Greer has a book about Atlantis which pointed out that 20,000 years ago, in the last ice age, the Bahamas and Caribbean islands would have been the mountaintops of a substantially larger island — or perhaps, depending on the sea drop, a chain of islands, or perhaps even a series of peninsulas surrounding an inland-sea, with limited access points for powerful trade-cities a la Byzantium and Gibraltar or Copenhagen. The Campeche Escarpment, the Yucatan Channel, Lightning Bank, Pedro Bank, the Cayman Ridge and even Grand Bahama Bank become that drowned realm… and your boats of the present are now traveling over that drowned realm of the past. Not merely point of contact, but common culture divided/diverged/forked by environmental change.

    1. Io

      That is definitely a good point (which book?)–it is so easy to forget that the contemporary landscape and the way it divides communities of people isn’t identical to the deeper past. I often remind myself that contemporary national borders are a fairly recent thing, but I should also remind myself that the land itself has undergone more than a few shifts during its occupation by people!

  2. Pingback: [NB] Winding the Twain Together | Disrupt & Repair

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