Submitted by Allen Vegotsky (Greater Atlanta Archaeological Society)
Our October speaker will be Curtis Headrick, long time member of GAAS and a dedicated student of Central American cultures. Lyn Kirkland provided the following:
Though Mr. Headrick is not a professional archaeologist, few people have visited more archaeological sites in the area than Curtis. There are not many well known Maya scholars in Meso-American archaeology that Curtis has not personally met. His daughter Anna Beth studied and got her doctorate with Linda Schele at the University of Texas and through his visits with his daughter, he was fortunate to meet many in the close-knit community of Maya scholars who were active at the University of Texas during the 80’s and 90’s.
Curtis will speak on modern day rituals of the Tzotzil Maya culture in Chiapas State, Mexico. He says, “One of the most interesting aspects of modern day Mexico is the ability to seek out and find hamlets, villages, and towns where practices of ancient Pre-Columbian ritual still survive. Many carnivals or festivals and games in the state of Chiapas incorporate Pre-Columbian concepts and an amazing mix of Catholic and indigenous ritual.
From the great church of San Juan Batista in Chamula with its currandados and shaman, to the streets of Zinecantan and the church of San Lorenzo where massive floral offerings are placed at regular intervals, the festivals continue to be practiced.” For years, where the local leaders would allow, Curtis and a professional photographer friend have documented the rituals. He will share his belief that visitors are left with memories of ancient rituals that look back over thousands and thousands of years of cultural history.
This program will be at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History on Clifton Road, just north of Ponce de Leon, and the talk will begin at 7:30 PM.