Great Beasts of Legend: Monsters of the Maya Cosmos
|Dr. Simon Martin, Associate Curator, American Section, Penn Museum
The Maya universe was populated by a variety of strange beasts and hybrid entities, some as actors in mythic narratives, others as symbolic representations of the sky, earth, and netherworld. However bizarre and complex their form, each had a coherent part to play in a wider religious system. One of the more energetic areas in Maya studies today is the effort to fathom their meanings and, by doing so, enter the imagination and consciousness of an ancient American people.