Eric Boot’s research on the Itza and Chichen Itza now available online
As we told you in an article late last year, Dutch ethnologist, Eric Boot, died recently. However, his legacy goes on. Academia.edu has posted his articles on the Itza Mayas and Chichen Itza. They may be downloaded for free. Here is a link to one of his articles:
Eric was one of the very few scholars, writing in English, who really sought to know the various peoples called “Maya” as people. Generally, I have to go into Spanish language texts to learn such things as that the Tamulte de Sabanos de Tabasco practice the same cultural traditions as the Creeks in the Southeastern United States. Typically what you get with other anthropological papers is professors describing what they did one summer while on a dig in Mesoamerica. No one realized that the Itzas had a distinct cultural history and language until Eric discovered that fact.
Why study the Itzas? The heritage of the Muskogean Peoples in the Southeast is complex. However, the Itza component of that heritage was very important. For example, the Hitchiti Creek verb for “to write”, chileam, is the same word in Itza, but very different than the Muskogee verb for “to write” . . . which did not even appear until after contact was made with Europeans. The houses in the suburbs of Chichen Itza before 1000 AD were identical to the houses in proto-Creek towns in Georgia after 1000 AD. There has to be a connection.
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