UH Moment

UH Moment: “Mayan”

Anthropology is the study on humans, past and present, our different cultures and shared experiences.  Learn how one student will use this to study a much-hyped event.


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Much has been made of the expected events on Dec. 21, 2012.  Whether or not the world comes to an end to fulfill the much-hyped predictions, a University of Houston Fulbright Fellow will have a front row seat as she pursues research on Mayan culture and the world view of participants in the Mayan end date.

“My research is precisely taking into account this 2012 global phenomenon—the end of the world and other concepts in regards to the new age,” said Carminia Martinez. “I’ve been  been studying the Mayan culture, their traditions and their calendar.  It has nothing to do with the end of the world, but completely on the contrary.”  

Herself of Mayan heritage, Martinez’s Fulbright year will include recording this contemporary history, as well as forming an understanding of what activates people into action.   

“I’ll be documenting the preparations, the event and the aftermath,” she said.  “I’ll also do a comparison study within both cultures: are there any correlations, what are the shared ideas within each one, how does each one impact each other, how do they interact.”

Her interviews, videos and images will be compiled into a book.

“The idea that the Mayan said this or that the Mayans were wrong—that’s where it’s personal to me.  They didn’t say that, they’re not saying that now.  My work is a contribution to help them represent themselves.”  

Fulbright Research is part of what’s happening at the University of Houston.  I’m Marisa Ramirez.