Maya: Portraits of a People

On September 6, A.D. 380, a stone mace-head was given by or to a young Maya lord. That ceremonial weapon is just one of the many intriguing artifacts on display in Explorers Hall through June 6, 1999.

“Maya: Portraits of a People” focuses on aspects of that culture, past and present. The Maya civilization reached its peak between A.D. 250 and 950. Modern descendants of the Maya number more than four million throughout the Yucatán Peninsula and neighboring countries.

Most of the objects in the exhibit are from the Classic period, circa 400 to 900, and are on loan from Jay and Jean Kislak and the Jay I. Kislak Foundation Collection.

Photographs, maps, and original art reconstructing ancient Maya life and beliefs supplement the artifacts and help place the Maya in the cultural and chronological context of greater Mesoamerica and its other peoples—the Olmec, the Teotihuacanos, the Toltec, the Mixtec, and the Aztec.

The exhibit was organized by the National Geographic Society and the Frank H. McClung Museum of Knoxville, Tennessee.

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