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Old 11-07-2013, 08:43 PM   #85
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2012
Oddometer: 1,161
Working my way through the Normark piece, though it seems written for a specialist audience familiar with his terms of art, which I am not. But it did lead me to delve into the Maya movement. Seems that there is a group of indigenous people in Guatemala seeking to unify an array of indigenous peoples who can be defined by being both in a Mayan language group and by a history of discrimination practiced upon them by Ladinos and Europeans. I think that Normark is going to eventually say that there is a danger here that the Mayan Movement will attempt to create a Mayan history that supports their current political goals and that this is as detrimental as the archaeologists who have tried to force-fit Mayan history into pre-existing archaeological worldviews.

I think it is on his blog that Normark discusses National Geographic as using ahistorical elements to portray featured groups as exotic or primitive in order to meet the expectations of their readership. He uses the example of using the term "warriors" rather than "soldiers" because the former carries a connotation of primitiveness and savagery. I find myself questioning this argument. It seems to me that "soldier" would to most readers suggest that the fighting force was organized into squads, platoons, companies, etc just like the military in their own country. Seems to me the best thing would be to try and find out how these fighters view themselves, and let their self-definition stand, with explicatory words for the reader.
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