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Arts & Culture

UNC Professor Educates Maya Descendants

Patricia McAnany researched Mayan ruins in Belize.  The Xunantunich ruins of western Belize are pictured above.
cjuneau via flickr
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Patricia McAnany had a moment of clarity when a young girl of Maya descent asked her why all the Maya people had to die. McAnany knew that the ancient Maya civilization collapsed in the 8th and 9th centuries, but she also knew that the Maya people continued to exist right up until the modern day.

McAnany eventually began to educate the modern Maya people about their history, hoping that in learning the truth about themselves, they could take more ownership in their history. She won a Guggenheim Fellowship that will give her the time and resources to write about her experiences.

Patricia McAnany, professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, joins host Frank Stasio in the studio.

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