One day in the final century B.C.E., the people of Cerros made a momentous decision. Cerros was a tiny settlement at the edge of Chetumal Bay in what is now Belize. Its inhabitants were traders, fishermen, and farmers. Two thousand years ago, they decided to become a kingdom.
They demolished houses, smashed pottery and other possessions, scattering flowers over them. Amid the ruins they built a brand new city — a sparkling ceremonial center with pyramids, plazas, temples, ornamented stairways and ball courts, presided over by a king and royal court. On the temple terrace they mounted snarling masks of the Jaguar Sun God.
At particular places, the power to influence the Otherworld was concentrated. Here the Maya built temples and "mystic mountains" or pyramids at Tikal, Uaxactun, Palenque, Calukmul, Caracol, and Chitzen Itza. At each the Tree of Life sprouted, its roots buried in the dreaded Underworld, its leaves reaching to the gods. Blood of kings or captives provided the sap. In rites performed atop pyramids — those at Tikal reach over 250 feet into the sky — kings spilled their own blood, dragging stingray spines through their tongues to cement their relationship with the powers above. War captives were strapped to altars, their hearts torn from their breasts and offered up as sacrifices.
ber Maclovio Barraza (1927-1980) was yet another figure in the founding of NCLR. To this day, the organization commemorates Barraza's “achievements” by giving out an “Award for Leadership” that is named after him.
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On May 3, 738 B.C.E., the Copan king was captured in battle and sacrificed at Quirigua. Copan never recovered. The building of monuments soon ceased. The land was so ravaged that only in the 20th century — 1300 years later — have population levels grown back to their former levels.
Rigoberta Menchu Book 13229 INFOVISUAL
Felman, Shoshana, and Dori Laub. Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis, and History. New York: Routledge, 1992.
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In this germinal trauma studies text, Felman and Laub explore testimony and witnessing from a number of perspectives. Laub’s contributions take up these issues through the lens of a practicing psychoanalyst, while Felman uses examples from literature, film, and her own pedagogy to highlight trauma theory in practice.