|This page was nominated for deletion on 22 September 2008 (UTC). The result of the discussion was keep.|
|WikiProject Mesoamerica||(Rated C-class, Low-importance)|
Please note that I have edited this entry to include links to a large variety of related topics. (I will also add some links that point to this article from other relevant entries). An issue that remains unclear in this entry is the question of whether there is a difference between priests and shamans, both in a theoretical sense and in the ancient Maya world itself. Is there a meaningful distinction between Maya priests and Maya shamans? If so (and I think there is), what can be added to this entry to highlight the distinction between a priesthood and the "free-agent" nature of shamans? The citations from Thompson and Sharer are good, but these are both old and dated references (especially Thompson, now more than 50 years old its conception). This entry could be brought up-to-date with better terminology, especially with reference to specific traditions. The general issue of orthography needs to be dealt with, since Thompson's spellings of Yucatec Maya terms depart from current standards. In general, this is a good start. However, it needs to be much more firmly integrated into Wikipedia's structure. Hoopes (talk) 21:24, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
One of the problems with the priest vs. shaman (and priesthood vs. shamanism) issue is that it is difficult to avoid venturing into the realm of new scholarship. Despite a lot of important discussion by Cecelia Klein, Alice Beck Kehoe, Barbara Tedlock, and others, there remains no consensus on whether "shaman" or "priest" is a better term. The best work I've seen on this is by Max Weber in Sociology of Religion (book), with additional theoretical work more recently by Augusto Oyuela-Caycedo. Hoopes (talk) 20:04, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
"Among the Mayas, priestly functions were often fulfilled by dignitaries who were not professional priests, but this fact can not be used to argue the nonexistence of a separate priesthood."
This article has a thesis, the existence of a Mayan priesthood, based on outdated literature, and endeavors incessantly to demonstrate its validity. The result is not only faulty facts, but a non-encyclopedic article looking like a bad term-paper.