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Converting Words – Maya in the Age of the Cross - California Scholarship Online
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Converting Words: Maya in the Age of the Cross

William Hanks


This synthesis of history, anthropology, and linguistics gives a view of the first two hundred years of the Spanish colonization of the Yucatec Maya. Drawing on a range of sources, it documents the crucial role played by language in cultural conquest: how colonial Mayan emerged in the age of the cross, how it was taken up by native writers to become the language of indigenous literature, and how it ultimately became the language of rebellion against the system that produced it. The book includes analyses of the linguistic practices of both missionaries and Mayas—as found in bilingual dictionar ... More

Keywords: Spanish colonization, Yucatec Maya, language, cultural conquest, indigenous literature, rebellion, linguistic practices, missionaries, Mayas, Chilam Balam

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2010 Print ISBN-13: 9780520257702
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520257702.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William Hanks, author