Saturday, April 15, 2017, 2:00 PM: Dr. Minette Church, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

“The line is a line drawn upon a map, and the Country is a wilderness”: British Colonial Memory and the San Pedro Maya of Western Belize

Abstract

Notwithstanding documentary evidence of which he surely was aware, Sir John Alder Burdon, governor of British Honduras from 1925-1931, wrote that “there is no record of any indigenous population and no reason to believe that any such existed except far in the interior. There are traces of extensive Maya Indian Population…all over the Colony…but this occupation was long before British settlement” (Burdon 1931, vol. 1, p. 4). The effects on historical and social memory of truth-through-repetition in post-colonial settings is not a new area of historical and archaeological critique, yet such cases bear exploration for the sake of setting the record straight at scales both geopolitical and local. These narratives have impacts on Maya descendants and their relations with sites, and with archaeologists who continue to work in Belize.

Bio

Minette Church is Associate Professor at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Faculty Director of the UCCS Heller Center for the Arts and Humanities. She has just completed a term as visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology and Paleoecology, in the School of Natural and Built Environment, at Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. Her areas of geographic interest are Belize, Central America and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands; in both regions she focuses on the archaeology of parenting and childhood, landscape archaeology, border regions, and colonial/post-colonial transnational identities.

Saturday, April 15, 2017, 2:00 PM: Dr. Minette Church, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

“The line is a line drawn upon a map, and the Country is a wilderness”: British Colonial Memory and the San Pedro Maya of Western Belize

Abstract

“The line is a line drawn upon a map, and the Country is a wilderness”: British Colonial Memory and the San Pedro Maya of Western Belize – Minette C. Church
Notwithstanding documentary evidence of which he surely was aware, Sir John Alder Burdon, governor of British Honduras from 1925-1931, wrote that “there is no record of any indigenous population and no reason to believe that any such existed except far in the interior. There are traces of extensive Maya Indian Population…all over the Colony…but this occupation was long before British settlement” (Burdon 1931, vol. 1, p. 4). The effects on historical and social memory of truth-through-repetition in post-colonial settings is not a new area of historical and archaeological critique, yet such cases bear exploration for the sake of setting the record straight at scales both geopolitical and local. These narratives have impacts on Maya descendants and their relations with sites, and with archaeologists who continue to work in Belize.

Bio

Minette Church is Associate Professor at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Faculty Director of the UCCS Heller Center for the Arts and Humanities. She has just completed a term as visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology and Paleoecology, in the School of Natural and Built Environment, at Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK. Her areas of geographic interest are Belize, Central America and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands; in both regions she focuses on the archaeology of parenting and childhood, landscape archaeology, border regions, and colonial/post-colonial transnational identities.

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