Maya -- five hundred years later

Thomas Donahue


I have been asked many times, during the course of this past year, what the topic of my Senior Scholar paper was to be. When I answer that I have chosen to study the Mayan Indians, the response is usually a rather uncomfortable silence, followed by such a question as, Who are they? I will admit, however, that the Indians of Southern Mexico and Guatemala do not make the headlines, or the sports page, in the Waterville Sentinel, on any sort of a daily basis. They do not take precedence over the bombing runs in Vietnam, or the exploits of Wilt Chamberlain. If one thinks of them at all, it's in the context of some sort of a lost civilization, which built a lot of temples, and threw virgins into wells, the first action being a bit idolatrous, the second being downright foolish. Why then, would anyone want to study them?