Re: Mayan numerals

From: Jameson Quinn <>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2012 11:05:50 -0600

2012/8/22 Asmus Freytag <>

> nice analysis. Now, do you have citations of current documents that make
> use of this subset? Amassing proof of such use is one way to move the
> committee. It's like a necessary condition.
> Are people already making text where they use one-off fonts or images for
> these digits?

As far as I know, the entire catalog of Editorial Chol
Samaj<> has
page numbers in Mayan as well as Arabic numerals. I've also seen this
practice, though I can't give citations without some research, in books
and/or pamphlets:

-From the Guatemalan Ministry of Culture

-From the Guatemalan Ministry of Education

-From the Mexican Secretariat of Primary Education (SEP)

-At least one Guatemalan and one Mexican book that doesn't fall into the
categories above.

Also, in both Guatemala and Mexico (as well as, I presume, Belize), it's
impossible to get a primary education without doing a unit on mayan numbers
and/or mathematics at *least* twice. Such units are also not unusual in
California and I presume elsewhere in the US with significant Latin﹫
populations. This kind of resource is easy to find on the web; just search
for "Mayan numbers" or "números mayas".

Heck, my daughter just yesterday brought home a bunch of schoolwork, and
entirely on her own initiative, she'd filled out the dates in the top
corners using Mayan numerals. I've never talked about Mayan writing with
her; that's something she got entirely from her school. (She's 7) So if
she's doing that, I imagine that there are easily tens of thousands,
perhaps even millions, of schoolkids who, if it were sufficiently easy and
they knew how, might use these unicode glyphs in their schoolwork.

I understand that from a professional Mayanist perspective, having glyphs
for just the numbers without even the dates or any of the rest isn't
attractive. And I also understand that in real petroglyphs, 1 and 2 (for
instance) usually look more like ∪•∪ and •∪• than like the simplified • and
•• that I'd suggest for the basic glyphs. But I can say confidently that
there are audiences who would use these glyphs, certainly more than a lot
of what's in Unicode.
Received on Wed Aug 22 2012 - 12:12:27 CDT

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