The concept of wrapping and its ontological character among the Maya

Keywords: ceremonial wrappings, Textile Beings, relational fields, ontologies, Maya


A textile with its threads, its weft, and warp, for the western ontology, is a simple utilitarian object or a body adornment. This study will discuss the wrapping among the Maya, starting from concepts present in ancient and contemporary Maya thought to identify the ontological character of some ceremonial textiles present in these societies. Based on an approach proposed by the ontological archaeology, I will discuss the conceptual proximity between the terms pix (to wrap, to cover) and pixan (soul, or something that is received from the other world), to think of the wrap as an element of articulation between the two ontological spaces, allowing the presence of beings and entities of the cosmos in Maya cities of the Classic and contemporary periods.

By generating the materialization and performance of these beings, wraps create relational fields that activate these entities temporarily in ordinary space, establishing effective contact with the Maya cosmos. A brief analysis of these Textile Beings present during the Classic Period will be discussed as a case study, in order to consider such a conceptual proposal.


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How to Cite
Grecco Pacheco, D. (2022). The concept of wrapping and its ontological character among the Maya. Estudios Latinoamericanos, 41, 47-65.