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Armed with this new insight, Schele and Freidel tell a number of stories, histories really, of several Mayan centers and the people who dominated them. Frankly, given the evidence they present confronting my ignorance , I am skeptical. Their accounts seem just a bit too certain, their qualifications too muted. Their approach approaches the novelistic--and indeed the whole is punctuated by little illuminating fictions.
I would have been more comfortable with a more cautious, scholarly approach, on the one hand, or a more purely novelistic one, on the other. On one point, though, they got me going, that being their repeated references to the vision quests through bloodletting. Apparently the Maya would do stuff life putting stingray barbs through their penises and tongues in order to obtain visionary access to spiritual realms.
Now that made it seem a bit more plausible, but still left me wondering what the intoxicating agent s might have been. That is nowhere addressed.
Both are very colorful, often as if self-illumined. Both delineate forms starkly. This is how things look to me--and to many others, from what I hear--under the influence.
Descuento del mes: Una Selva de Reyes
UNA SELVA DE REYES: LA ASOMBROSA HISTORIA DE LOS ANTIGUOS MAYAS