Relación de las cosas de Yucatán

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De Landa alphabet.jpg

Relación de las cosas de Yucatán was written by Diego de Landa Calderón circa 1566 shortly after his return from Yucatán to Spain. In it, de Landa catalogues a partial explanation of written and spoken language that proved vital to modern attempts to decipher the language[1] as well as Maya religion and the Mayan peoples' culture in general. It was written with the help of local Maya princes, and contains, at the end of a long list of Spanish words with Maya translations, a Maya phrase that famously was found to actually mean "I do not want to". The original manuscript has been lost, although many copies still survive.

Currently available English translations include William E. Gates's 1937 translation, has been published by multiple publishing houses under the title Yucatan Before and After the Conquest: The Maya. Alfred Tozzer of Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology has also published a translation of the work through the Cambridge University Press, published in 1941.


  1. ^ Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Jared Diamond p159

Further reading[edit]

  • An Interpretation of Bishop Diego De Landa's Maya Alphabet by Marshall Durbin (Philological and documentary studies, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 171 179)

See also[edit]