I was talking to some people the other day about how much it annoys me when people talk about the Mayan civilization being dead, or having “mysteriously” disappeared, because I could point out dozens of Mayans to you on the streets of SF or Marin every day. They were pushed back into the outreaches and hidden places of Central America due to Spanish invasion. They may have not had an “empire” by that point, but they were still THERE. And they are still there, and are an incredibly marginalized people in many Central American countries. In fact we were having this conversation in a Mexican restaurant in Tiburon staffed almost exclusively by people from Guatemala. And everyone was still trying to argue with me that there was a legitimate reason to speak about them that way. But I digress….
I saw this quote on Metafilter, talking about Indigenous Australians:
“Their culture is not dead, their lifestyle is not dead, they are not dead. The cultural mythology of a dead culture contributes, exactly as the article describes, to the idea that it’s a distant thing.”
MY POINT EXACTLY PEOPLE.