Ritual Practice of Time Incorporated in the Story of the Ruler and of the Dynasty

Not only the ceremonial rhetoric but in addition a narrative analysis of the inscriptions can convey how the rituals of time were conceived by the classic Maya. I have accordingly constructed a typology of three discourse categories of inscriptions:

  • 1. Short statements of ritual practices of time conducted by an individual ruler. In addition, longer inscriptions briefly relate rituals of former lords of the past and rituals not yet executed (future).
  • 2. Inscriptions that narrate the deeds and events of the biography of a lord associated with “period-ending” dates and ritual practice of time.
  • 3. Ritual practice of time and “period- ending dates” incorporated within the history of dynastic genealogies.

The inscriptions of the first category are simply concerned with a documentation of the execution of a ritual practice of time. I therefore concentrate the analysis upon the narratives of the two last mentioned categories, which place ceremonies within the biography of the individual lord and of the dynastic genealogies respectively.

The ritual practices of time are, in many cases, incorporated within a context of other historical incidents of the principle account. Various inscriptions show an integration of rituals with other events in the life of the lord, of the genealogy of lords and the ancestors.

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