Image Unmasking the Maya: preserving the culture

TLF ID M011545

This resource is chiefly about the preservation of the Maya culture in the USA. It covers the Maya Indians today, the rich ancient Maya culture that existed from 500 BCE to 1519 CE, when the Spanish conquered them, and those Maya who emigrate today to the USA in search of a better life. The resource presents the Monkey Business Theatre, a Maya cooperative that celebrates ancient Maya traditions and seeks to unmask the modern Maya world and its 'bitter realities'. Its aim is to entertain and inform people of the Maya culture and of the Maya peoples' experience in Chiapas Mexico and in the USA. Included are testimonials and audio clips of dialogue from Maya performances in Tzotzil and Tzeltal, two of the 30 living Maya languages.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This resource is useful for addressing the Australian Curriculum: History content description in year 8 related to pre-Columbian life in the Americas, including belief systems. Hieroglyphic writing reveals an advanced, sophisticated society dating back to 500 BCE, with books recording the Maya belief in gods, their deeds and the history of divine kings and queens.
  • This resource is useful for the development of historical skills related to the analysis and use of sources. Students select and use both visual images and written text from this resource as evidence of the type of society that the Maya created.
Year level


Learning area
  • History

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Library of Congress
  • Organization: Library of Congress
  • Description: Repository
  • URL:
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Smithsonian Institution
  • Organization: Smithsonian Institution
  • URL:
  • Publisher
  • Name: Smithsonian Institution
  • Organization: Smithsonian Institution
  • Description: Publisher
  • URL:
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL:
Access profile
  • Generic
Learning Resource Type
  • Image
  • Text
  • © Smithsonian Institution. You may use, reproduce and communicate this material free-of-charge for non-commercial educational purposes, provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material and you include a link to the SI Website