TYPE: Manuscript
COMPONENTS: 389p., [3]. Missing boards.  Some foxing (heavy foxing on a few pages 40-48), most pages clean.  
CONDITION: Very good condition.
NOTES: Sabin 71249; Pilling 3422. An amazing book. This time in Mayan Language! In fact, there hasn't been a book in the Mayan language printed before 1850 for sale for the last 25 years according to the auction records of the US.

This copy has a news clipping from 1973, that I think is curious. It talks about the book. It is a first for me; I had never had any Mayan language book printed before 1900. This one is from 1847. It may sound that it is late, but in fact 1800-1850 is the time frame when Mayan language books were printed. I know that there is one made in 1746 (Arte Idioma Maya), but it is extremely rare.

The Maya language was kind of left behind until the 19th century. The author of this book, Joaquin Ruz, was the greatest scholar on the Mayan language and he is responsible for a great part of the books published in that time frame in Mayan (Barbara Cifuentes. Lenguas para un pasado, huellas de una nación…2002).
priceInfo: 2/10/16 I was just offered this Mayan printed book dated 1847 for just under $2,000. I’m not sure how rare it is, but my book dealer thinks it is wonderful and so I’ll be buying it from him.  Please add it to our Latin American collection.
Foreign Language Inscription: Plácido Rico Frontaura; Joaquín Ruz. Merida de Yucatan: J.D. Espinosa, Explicacion de una parte de la doctrina cristiana, ó Instrucciones dogmatico-morales en que se vierte toda la doctrina del catecismo romano; se amplian los diferentes puntos que el mismo catecismo remite á los párrocos para su extencion; y se tratan de nuevo otros importantes. Traducido al idioma Yucateco.
ITEM ID: 3542

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Catechism, Vocabulary and Grammar Book in Mayan

Year: 1847
Decade: 1840s
Century: 19th (1801-1900)

Catechism, Vocabulary and Grammar book in Mayan Language. For a Nahuatl book this is probably a late printing, but for a Mayan one it is exactly the right time. The Maya language was somewhat left behind until the XIXth century. The author of this book, Joaquin Ruz, was the greatest scholar on the Mayan language and he is responsible for a great part of the books published in that time frame in Mayan.History of the Maya: The most important of the cultured native peoples of North America, both in the degree of their civilization and in population and resources, formerly occupying a territory of about 60,000 square miles, including the whole of the peninsula of Yucatán, Southern Mexico, together with the adjacent portion of Northern Guatemala, and still constituting the principal population of the same region outside of the larger cities. Their language, which is actually supplanting Spanish to a great extent, is still spoken by about 300,000 persons, of whom two-thirds are pure Maya, the remainder being whites and of mixed blood. The Mayan linguistic stock includes some twenty tribes, speaking closely related dialects, and (excepting the Huastec of northern Vera Cruz and south-east San Luis Potosi, Mexico) occupying contiguous territory in Tabasco, Chiapas, and the Yucatán peninsula, a large part of Guatemala, and smaller portion of Honduras and Salvador. The ancient builders of the ruined cities of Palenque and Copan were of the same stock. The most important tribes or nations, after the Maya proper, were the Quiche and Cakchiquel of Guatemala. All the tribes of this stock were of high culture, the Mayancivilization being the most advanced and probably the most ancient, in aboriginal North America. They still number altogether about two million souls.Maya Indians-LiteratureThey had a voluminous literature, covering the whole range of native interests either written, in their own peculiar “calculiform” hieroglyphic characters, in books of maguey paper or parchment which were bound in word, or carved upon the walls of their public buildings. Twenty-seven parchment books were publicly destroyed by Bishop Landa at Mani in 1562, others elsewhere in the peninsula, others again at the storming of the Itzá capital in 1697, and almost all that have come down to us are four codices, as they are called, viz., the “Codex Troano”, published at Paris in 1869; another codex apparently connected with the first published at Paris in 1882; the “Codex Peresianus”, published at Paris in 1869-71; and the “Dresden Codex”, originally mistakenly published as an Aztec book in Kingsborough’s great work on the “Antiquities of Mexico” (London, 1830-48). Besides these pre-Spanish writings, of which there is yet no adequate interpretation, we have a number of later works written in the native language by Christianized Maya, shortly after the conquest. Several of these have been brought together by Brinton in his “Maya Chronicles”. The intricate calendar system of the Maya, which exceeded in elaboration that of the Aztec, Zapotec, or any other of the cultured native races, has been the subject of much discussion. It was based on a series of katuns, or cycles, consisting of 20 (or 24), 52, and 260 years, and by its means they carried their history down for possibly thirteen centuries, the completion of each lesser katun being noted by the insertion of a memorial stone in the wall of the great temple at Mayapan.The Maya language has received much attention from missionaries and scientists from an early period. Of grammars the earliest is the “Arte y Vocabulario de la lengua de Yucatán” of Luis de Villalpando, published about 1555. Others of note are “Arte de la Lengua Maya” by Father Gabriel San Buenaventura (Mexico, 1684), and republished by the Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg in volume two of the “Mission Scientifique au Mexique” (Paris, 1870); “Arte de el Idioma Maya” by Father Padro de Santa Rosa Maria Beltran, a native of Yucatán and instructor in the Maya language in the Franciscan convent of Mérida (Mexico, 1746, and Mérida, 1859); “Gramática Yucateca” by Father Joaquin Ruz, of the Franciscan convent of Mérida, also a native of Yucatán and “the most fluent of the writers in the Maya language that Yucatán has produced” (Mérida, 1844), and republished in an English translation by the Baptist missionary, Rev. John Kingdom (Belize, 1847). Each of these writers was also the author of other works in the language.Of published dictionaries may be mentioned: first and earliest, a “Diccionario”, credited to Father Villalpando(Mexico, 1571); then “Diccionario de la Lengua Maya”, by Juan Perez (Mérida, 1866-77); and “Dictionnaire, Grammaire at Chrestomathie de la langue Maya”, by the Abbé Brasseur de Bourgourg (Paris, 1872). The most valuable dictionaries of the language are still in manuscript. Chief is the one known as the Diccionario del Convento de Motul” from the name of the Franciscan convent in Yucatán in which it was found; it is now in the Carter Brown Library at Providence. It is beautifully written and is supposed to be a copy of an original written by a Franciscan priest, who was evidently a master of the language, about 1590. “In extent the dictionary is not surpassed by that of any aboriginal language of America” (Bartlett). Other manuscript dictionaries are those of the Convent of Mérida (about 1640); and one by the Convent of Ticul (about 1690); and one by the Rev. Alexander Henderson, a Methodist missionary of Belize (1859-66), now the property of the Bureau of AmericanEthnology. (See also Brinton, “Maya Chronicles”, and Maya titles in Pilling, “Bibliography, Proofsheets” (Washington, 1885).)

Name: Juaqín Ruiz
Type: Author
Born In: Merida
Artists Dates: 1772 - 15 September, 1850
Artist Information: RUZ, Joaquin (rooth), Mexican linguist, born in Merida in 1772; died there, 15 September, 1850. He entered the order of St. Francis in his native city in 1794, studied philosophy in the convent of his order in 1805, was graduated there, and in 1810 became a priest. He was immediately assigned to the missions of the Maya Indians, of whose language he possessed a thorough knowledge. Besides numerous religious works, he wrote in the Maya language "Catecismo histdrico y Doctrina Cristiana" (Merida, 1822) ; "Gramatica Yucateca" (1844); "Cartilla 6 Silabario de la lengua Maya, para 1a ensefianza de los nifios indijenas" (1845); "Analisis del idioma Yucateco " (1851) ; and "Leti u cilich Evangelio Jesueristo hebix San Lucas," edited by W. M. Watts (London, 1865).