Gifts for Mayaphiles

A small and simple leather bracelet held in the palm of a man's hand.

A Mayalma soul bracelet.

Wondering what to get that friend of yours who loves traveling in the Mundo Maya? Besides, of course, a couple of plane tickets and a copy of my book, Moon Maya 2012: A Guide to Celebrations in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize & Honduras.

If they’re a reader, you can start with one of these suggested books by the world’s top Mayanists, perhaps accompanied by a Maya-inspired Mayalma soul bracelet from the Yucatan (pictured above, part of proceeds go to benefit children in a village near Coba).

Or, you can get them the Lords of Time Daykeeper Calendar books. These are 5.5 x 8.5-inch illustrated books that show how to keep track of the Maya count of days. “Besides its its lovely stela-images,” says Maya expert Mark Van Stone, PhD, Lords of Time “has the _best* short intro to the workings of the Maya Calendar of any publication. I recommend it to all my students and colleagues just for that.”

Prove that the Maya did NOT intend for anything to end on December 21, 2012, by purchasing a 2013 Mayan Wall Calendar (only $15.99). This calendar was designed by Dr. Ed Barnhart, an archaeologist with over 20 years of experience studying Maya mathematics, astronomy and hieroglyphics. It reads like a normal Gregorian calendar, but each date block also includes the Maya calendar round, a pair of hieroglyphs providing the dates in the sacred Tzolk’in and solar Haab calendars. The Long Count, the ancient Maya linear count of days, appears at the bottom of each month.

If they voted Democrat in the last U.S. presidential election (or if they didn’t and you feel like rubbing it in), they’ll love one of these “Mayanists for Obama” T-shirts, coffee cups, and ball caps, with the phrase “O-ba-ma” spelled out correctly in ancient Mayan. If I’m not mistaken, the design was made by David Stuart himself, one of the world’s top epigraphers of the Mayan text.

Let’s make a list! Do you have another Maya-related product you’d like to share with my readers? Let me know in the comments. I’m especially interested in products being produced and sold directly from villages or towns in the Maya region, unlike the ones I suggested above — I need help to make this list more sustainable and helpful to the Maya themselves. Let’s see what else you can come up with!

Leave a Reply