This past Saturday renowned epigrapher Doctor Bruce Love hosted a one day workshop at the Yo Creek Sacred Heart Primary School. The workshop saw the participation of over 50 invited guests who gained knowledge of the basic writing and reading of hieroglyphics. And if you are among the millions who have been wondering if the 2012 end of the world Maya prediction is true, Dr. Love says there is no such prediction.

Screen_shot_2012-05-07_at_8.23.08_PMHipolito Novelo Reporting

Doctor Bruce Love has over 35 years of experience in YucatŠn and Central American History. The anthropologist is a renowned epigrapher who has published a number of books and articles on subjects ranging from contemporary Maya ritual practices to hieroglyphic writings of the Classic Maya Period.

This Saturday Dr. Love held a one day workshop in Yo Creek Village to enlightened interested individuals on the hieroglyphic writings of the Maya.

Bruce Love, PhD. Anthropologist

We begin with an introduction to the whole concept of Mesoamerica, where the Maya fit in to the bigger picture in Mesoamerica. And then we begin with a little bit of the History and then we start right in the long count: the question of 2012. Now we are doing the calendar and then later this afternoon we be doing how to spell your name using the hieroglyphs. Like if your name is Cal. We can use a syllable: Ca and La. Ca is a sign like this and La is a sign like this. You put them together and you get Cal. Itís just like phonetic spelling.

Felicita Cantun, a descendant of the Yucatec Maya, participated in the workshop. For her, the experience was overwhelming since the workshop took her back to her roots.

Felicita Cantun, Participant

Itís something historical first time being done in the Village and as you can see we have lots of people attending and it is very interesting because it is dealing on how to read not the Maya language but the Maya hieroglyphics that we find in the stele and our Maya temples. At the beginning I told the doctor that I felt like a kindergarten student because I just see drawings and I could not make the connections. But up to now, thank god, I feel I can make the connections and then I hope that at the end of this thing I will be able to write my name in hieroglyphics.

One of the topicís that was also discussed on Saturday is the controversial prediction of the end of the world which is near- December 21, 2012, to be exactóaccording to theories based on a purported ancient Maya prediction. While nearly 15 percent of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime and 10 percent think the Mayan calendar could signify it will happen in 2012, Dr. Love disagrees.

Bruce Love, PhD. Anthropologist

The Maya did not make a prediction about 2012. Thatís a bunch of stuff that is in the media. It is in the magazine- itís in the whatever. But the Maya- we can read the hieroglyphs now and we know now for a fact that you can read thousands of Maya inscriptions and they never made a prediction for 2012. Thatís just something that we made up.

Before the workshop, Cantun believed in doomsday 2012. Dr. Loveís explanation of the Mayan Calendar, however, changed her mind.

Felicita Cantun, Participant

This is what I learnt; the true meaning of 2012 is that by itself is meaningless. It means what you want it to mean.

Hipolito Novelo, Reporter

And before this workshop did you feel the same?

Felicita Cantun, Participant

I was afraid because my birthday is on December 21st and Nostadamus says that the world will end on December 21st. So I was not afraid because everybody has to die someday or the other but you know to die at the same day as your birthday is pretty scary.

Hipolito Novelo, Reporter

What would be the other step for you after this workshop? Will you be a team leader like Dr. Love said?

Felicita Cantun, Participant

As I mentioned before, I have always been interested in the Maya language and I find it a pity and I could almost say ashamed that Dr. Love who is not a Belizean, who is not a descendent of the Maya and come and tell us and teach us our Maya. So yes, I plan to do something. Ma Píatik u kimi le Maya taano.

The day also saw Maya performances from local dance groups.

Dr. Love translated the Paris Codex and has been travelling and doing field work in Yucatan since 1971. 

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