Recent installation at Charlotte Country Day School of the Gonzalez Codex
The Maya Codices are folded books made of amate paper, bound with jaguar pelt. Of these written records of Maya civilization, only 3 verified codices exist in the world today.
The existing Maya codices represent a small fraction of the written Maya language. For instance, there are no existing original glyphs for the word sister or wife.
Catholic priests burned the codices during the Spanish conquest and colonization in their attempt to convert the Maya people to Catholicism. War and disease then devastated the populations of the Maya kingdoms during the period. It is estimated that 50 – 75% of the Maya population was wiped out.
I discovered Mayan culture through research in to my family’s origins. I found a key difference between euro-American and Mayan culture was in their perception of time. The Mayan concept was not a linear one where destruction is a final end, but a revolving cycle of death and rebirth where, What has been, shall be again.
This circular concept of endless renewal inspired me to create a new codex. I chose the theme of Love because love is a human experience that all cultures share, and I wanted to demonstrate that the destruction of a people’s culture or religion will not erase the fact that we are all still connected in this world. To illustrate this, I chose to translate into Mayan, the four Greek loves, Philia, Storge, Eros, & Agape