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HOME > CENTRAL TAIWAN > TAICHUNG CITY > ARTS & LEISURE >
C U L T U R E
 

Compass Magazine, August 2002

" Maya: Mysteries in the Jungle" comes to the Taiwan Museum of Art

Compiled by Li Shya Translated by Cheryl Robbins

Taiwan Museum of Art
2, WuChiuan (WuChuan) West Rd.
Tel: (04) 2372-3552
Hours: 9 am-5 pm Tues-Sun (closed Mondays)

    " Concealed 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.

    " As 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.

    " Among 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.

Admission

General
NT$150
 
Groups of 20 or more
NT$120 per person
 
Students
NT$80
with student ID
Free admission
  for 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.
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