mesoamerica and the maya world

Category: Uncategorized

Tropical storm Arthur batters Belize

It almost seems that half of Central and North America has been flooded lately. Southern Belize was particularly hard hit by tropical storm Arthur.

Back soon

Buried Mirror is on medical leave and will be back soon.

Photo quiz, part 4

Okay, here’s the fourth and final clue. This picture was not taken in Guatemala, but surely it will reveal the photographer featured in this week’s previous posts.


Travels with Judas


Jonathan Dunham was working as a substitute teacher in the Portland, Oregon, public schools when, a couple of years ago, he just started walking. He walked south to Texas, crossing the border at Tamaulipas. He stopped there long enough to do chores on a family farm; when he decided it was time to resume walking, his host family saw him off with a burro to help him with his load.

He named the animal Whothey, a name that was gradually transformed, through the mouths of the Spanish speakers he met along the way, into Judas. Together the pair continued walking through Central America and into Colombia and Venezuela. Everywhere the donkey has proved an icebreaker, and the travelers have sparked interest wherever they have gone. “Judas is not just any donkey,” a newspaper reporter enthused in Barranquilla, and “Jon is a well-mannered and shy biochemist.”

To Mr. Dunham Mexico and Venuzuela seemed the most generous countries he has journeyed through.

Read the full story at Mexico Premiere.


Photo by Texas to Mexico (model’s name unknown)


Gráficas Políticas: Mexican Prints, 1900—1950

what may happen by leopoldo mendezAn exhibition of Mexican prints is showing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, through January 13. The following copy is from the museum’s website:

The artists included range from José Guadalupe Posada, influential figure in modern Mexican printmaking, to Leopoldo Méndez, Pablo O´Higgins, and Alfredo Zalce, all members of the Taller de Gráfica Popular (Popular Graphic Art Workshop or T.G.P.). Together, these artists documented the climate of this period, which saw the Mexican Revolution of 1910, World War I, and World War II.

The T.G.P. had a particularly significant impact on the lives of Mexican citizens and, thus, attracted politically engaged artists from around the world, including Max Kahn and Eleanor Coen from Chicago. Kahn and Coen amassed the works seen here while collaborating with the T.G.P. in Mexico during the 1940s. In 2006, Mr. Frank Ribelin acquired the prints and generously donated them to The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Shown is What May Happen (Lo que puede venir), 1945, by Leopoldo Méndez
The MFAH, gift of Frank Ribelin.



Around this time of year we start to see a lot of poinsettias. The plant is native to western Mexico and Guatemala. For the Aztecs the poinsettia (which they called cuetlaxochitl) was a symbol of purity (rather like the lotus in East Asia). I expect the red color would suggest blood to most ancient Mesoamerican cultures. A reddish-purple dye was made from the plant’s bracts, and its sap was used to treat fevers.

The plant is named for Joel Roberts Poinsett, U.S. ambassador to Mexico from 1825 to 1829. He sent some speciments to Robert Carr at the Bartram Nursery, who introduced the plant into wider cultivation.

LINK: How pointsettias became popular
Image from the U.S. Agricultural Research Service

Mas trafico con BlogRush?

Un nuevo servicio llamado BlogRush ha lanzado, que promete conducir tráfico a su blog. El servicio requiere la instalación del código del Javascript que carga un widget en su sitio.


xolosA hairless breed of Mexican dog known as Xoloitzcuintles (show-low-eets-KWEENT-les, commonly called Itzcuintles in Mexic and Xolos elsewhere) is growing in popularity. The dog’s history is said to “date back to the Aztecs” (whatever that means). Near extinction, it was rescued by a group who rounded up enough dogs from remote mountain villages to launch a breeding program.

Being hairless, the dogs aren’t suited for very cold or hot weather. But they would be good for asthmatics and people with allergies.

Okay, they’re hairless, but are they barkless? The conquistadors were fascinated by a native American dog that did not bark. As far as I know, those dogs are extinct. I assume this is a different species — if anyone knows, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo owned a Xolos. You can get your own for up to $2500 for a show dog.

More information at the Cool Dog Hall of Fame. The image is a detail from an image from a page called Itzcuintlan Xoloitzcuintlis — such a cool name, I’d change mine to that if it weren’t already taken. Sure I would. Surprisingly, for some reason the site’s url is not but

in process

I’m in the process of moving my Maya materials over here to from the Maya World section of where they had resided. I don’t think this will take too long, but there could be a few goofy issues with links, images, etc. while I’m setting up my 301 redirects and doing the other things involved in making this sort of change.

I’m trying to leave links to the old files until the new ones are in place, so you may find yourself bouncing back and forth between rightreading and buriedmirror — this shouldn’t be too distracting as it just means some of the framing/navigation elements on the sidebar and head will be different.

I’ll backdate old blog posts to match the original dates.

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