Women in World History

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Weaving The Heavens - Maya Women in Precolumbian Guatemala

This unit is packed with details describing what life might have been like for a peasant girl living during the height of city-state Tikal's power. Descriptions of her dream world, her home, the market, architecture, and the rituals of King Ah Cacaw illustrate important aspects of Mayan agriculture, trade, religion and political life. Follow-up activities emphasize the survival of many ancient Maya practices, and the contemporary struggles of Maya women.

Spiralbound, 52 pages
8.5 x 11 inches
ISBN 1-890380-02-4
© 1992

Print Edition: $10.00 (Plus Shipping Charges)
Downloadable PDF File: $6.00
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Weaving the Heavens Story - as Ik Caan comes of age, her gift to foretell the future through her dreams and visions show her to be a shaman in the making. Shy and awkward, the peasant girl resists her power until the goddess of weaving Ixchel intervenes and Ik Caan suddenly has the courage and skill to protect the kingdom of Tikal from invasion. Vocabulary and inquiry questions are woven into the story.

Activities/Student Worksheets

Ik Caan's World - map of extent of Maya world in the 7th century.

Monumental Ladies - hypothesizing about the status and activities of women whose images are carved on monuments.

Designs Tell a Story - learning what symbols represent by studying ancient and modern Mayan designs.

Designing a Huipil - creating personal designs to place on a drawing of a huipil (traditional dress).

Weavers Tell Their Stories - analyzing personal accounts by contemporary backstrap loom weavers to discover why they weave.

Testimony – Rigoberta Menchú's Path to the Nobel Prize - using selected examples from Menchú's book, I Rigoberta Menchú, to explain her commitment to human rights for Indians.

Background Essay: Women and the Classical Maya Period

Selected Bibliography

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Check out the Sample Activity for this Unit

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Women in World History Curriculum