Magazine, August 2002
Maya: Mysteries in the Jungle" comes
to the Taiwan Museum of Art
Compiled by Li Shya Translated
by Cheryl Robbins
Museum of Art
2, WuChiuan (WuChuan) West Rd.
Tel: (04) 2372-3552
Hours: 9 am-5 pm Tues-Sun (closed Mondays)
within tropical rainforest, the ruins and artifacts of the
Mayan civilization have created a great sense of awe around
the world. Taichung residents and visitors can now share
this awe at the Taiwan Museum of Art. Opening on August
17, the "Maya: Mysteries in the Jungle" exhibition
will feature 115 display items on loan from Guatemala.
" This exhibition is divided into several sections.
The first--"The Rain Forest"--provides an
introduction to the surroundings of the Mayan ruins.
The "Amazing Discoveries" section contains
more than 50 displayed items, including earthenware
vessels, dishes and bowls, and shell and jade ornaments
that reveal something about how the Mayans lived and
carried on business and trade.
one enters the "city gates", the "Mysterious
City Nation" section comes into view. From the more
than 50 items on display in this area it is possible to
form an impression of the social structure of this ancient
civilization, as well as the animals and plants that the
Mayans worshipped and revered. The next unit, "Heaven
and Earth", covers the topics of the monarchy and religious
beliefs. Finally, "The Eternal Wisdom of the Maya"
section provides information about about Mayans' scientific
and technological discoveries, especially their calendar
system and achievements in astronomy.
" Exhibited objects cover the Pre-Classic, Classic
and Post-Classic periods of Mayan history. For example,
from the Pre-Classic Period there is a stone pestle
(1000-250 BC) and from the late Classic Period are an
earthenware urn and an incense burner (1200-1524 AD).
These objects span a time frame of more than 2,500 years
and reveal the differences between historical periods.
The Classic Period is the best known of the three periods,
as that was when agriculture, the calendar system and
construction planning were developed and beautiful works
of art and sacrificial objects were produced.
the objects on display from this period are two examples
of multicolored ceramic vessels. One is a 16-centimeter-high
cup decorated in black, red, orange, yellow and brown. The
depicted upper-class figures are shown at a feast before
the men go off to battle. The other piece measures 23.9
centimeters in height and has a red background with black,
red and cream colored motifs, including depictions of six
persons. Surrounding the opening are 18 pictographs. Also
from the same period is a famille rose ceramic vessel measuring
18.2 centimeters in height. It is decorated in what is called
"Mayan blue" with two figures in red and three
pictographs. From the figures, it is possible to see that
the men wore loincloths. There are also jade wristlets and
earrings depicted. Among the many funerary objects originally
buried with one of the Mayan rulers are jade carved ornaments
and precious stones.
" Overall, this exhibit is one of the best opportunities
in Taiwan to learn about this amazing civilization.
of 20 or more
children under 110 cm in height, those 65 and over with
I.D. and those holding a disability certificate.
" Special thanks to Ms. Wang Wan-ru and Ms. Lin
Hsiao-yu of the Taiwan Museum of Art and Ms. Kuo Hui-miao
of the National History Museum for providing information.