Retention of Maya Culture through Periods of Domination

John D. Early

in Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780813040134
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043838 | DOI:
Retention of Maya Culture through Periods of Domination

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This chapter describes the traditional social organization of Maya communities enabling them to retain many elements of their worldviews during periods of colonial and national rule. During this period the worldview was transmitted from generation to generation and Biblical stories were reinterpreted in terms of it. This was possible because externally the Spaniards had no desire to live among the Maya. Spanish dominance was carried out by indirect rule and the colonial compact that allowed the Maya to remain in their own communities under their own authorities as long as they supplied their quota of coercive labor. The Maya also erected their own defences against contagion by Spanish culture.

Keywords: social organization; indirect rule; colonial compact; bible stories

Chapter.  5063 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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