The pyramid Temple of Kukulcan in the ancient city of Chichén Itzá, which still stands at its site on the Yucatan Peninsula in eastern Mexico, has been a sacred place for the Mayan people for centuries.

The pyramid Temple of Kukulcan in the ancient city of Chichén Itzá, which still stands at its site on the Yucatan Peninsula in eastern Mexico, has been a sacred place for the Mayan people for centuries.

WATCH: Maya mixes the ancient with the contemporary at the RBCM

New ‘world-leading’ exhibit offers many pieces not seen before by the public

Featuring a mix of ancient and contemporary Mayan cultures and a collection of pieces, some of which the North American public has not seen before, the newest temporary exhibition at the Royal BC Museum is something special, indeed.

Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises opened its seven and-a-half month run last week and received a solid turnout of visitors over the long weekend, a fact that bodes well for the rest of 2019.

Joanne Orr, RBCM deputy CEO and vice-president, Collections, Research and International Programs, said the museum feels “incredibly privileged” to host this exhibition, noting that she expects many visitors will come to the city specifically to see it.

“This is the first place that you will be able to see some of these artifacts outside of Guatemala,” she said. “The quality of this is global, world-leading and I think it will attract people to visit Victoria.”

Inside the RBCM’s special gallery space, there’s little in the way of barriers between the visitor and the artifacts, leaving one to savour the experience of seeing such relics up close and personal. Even the namesake of the exhibition, the massive stone jaguar figure, crouches on a stand on the floor in the gallery, allowing you to almost go nose-to-nose with this ancient sculpture.

From large carved stone monuments and altars to smaller, daily-use items, ceremonial clothing and artwork, visitors will feel they’ve glimpsed life in Mayan communities from today back to ancient times.

READ: Royal BC Museum unveiling rare artifacts in upcoming Maya exhibit

“We have some objects that were only excavated a couple of years ago, so some of them have not been seen by the public,” Orr said. The exhibition helps illustrate how new science and research has allowed for a better understanding of ancient Mayan civilizations – thousands of years old – and the interaction between dynasties, “the complexity of which will rival Game of Thrones,” Orr noted with a grin.

She added that the Mayan culture is alive and well, with over 30 indigenous languages still spoken today, a fact she said resonates very closely with B.C. and Victoria. The exhibition provides context by covering contemporary Mayan culture as well as the ancient civilizations, she added.

Admission to Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises, is included with a regular ticket to the museum. It runs until Dec. 31. Visit royalbcmuseum.bc.ca for more details.



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Royal BC Museum

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

This example of ancient ceremonial garb is part of the Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises exhibition at the Royal BC Museum. Don Descoteau/Monday Magazine

This example of ancient ceremonial garb is part of the Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises exhibition at the Royal BC Museum. Don Descoteau/Monday Magazine

Just Posted

Michael Demers, performing here as a member of The Lonely, died May 1 after a year-long battle with leukemia. (Photo by Benji Duke)
Victoria music community mourning Michael Demers

Veteran singer-songwriter, co-founder of The Lonely dies at 63 due to leukemia

The Royal B.C. Museum has added a tamba dining set, used by a Punjabi man on his voyage to Canada in 1927, to its ‘100 Objects of Interest’ online collection. (Courtesy of Royal B.C. Museum)
Punjabi dining set added to Royal B.C. Museum’s ‘100 Objects of Interest’ collection

Set used by Indar Singh Gill on his voyage from Punjab to Canada in 1927

Victoria-born musician Bryce Dane Soderberg took to Instagram Monday to call out the Greater Victoria School District on its proposed cuts to elementary and middle school music programs. (Bryce Dane Soderberg/Instagram)
Victoria-born Lifehouse vocalist calls out SD61 on proposed music cuts

‘It will be a big loss to future generations’ Bryce Dane Soderberg posted to his Instagram

Ballet Victoria is honouring Rosemarie Liscum, the president of the board of directors who was instrumental in the building the dance company. Liscum died earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of Ballet Victoria)
Rosemarie Liscum remembered as dedicated, instrumental builder of Victoria Ballet

The president of the ballet company’s board of directors died at the age of 59

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong are presenting an online reading on May 9. (Photos courtesy Joni Marcolin/Heather Armstrong)
Nanaimo playwrights present online Mother’s Day script readings

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong to read from in-progress plays

Marianne Turley is one of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award winners for Honour in Culture. (Bulletin file photo)
Longtime Vancouver Island Symphony board member gets posthumous culture award

Marianne Turley receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Honour in Culture

The CVAC Fine Arts Show is always something to see and 2021 promises to be no different, as they adopt a fully multimedia approach. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show goes multimedia for 2021

The show, which runs from May 1-22 will be available both in person and online.

Dinner After a Death, a painting by Sooke artist Bryan Cathcart is part of a collection featuring his work at the Outsiders and Others Gallery in Vancouver. (Contributed - Bryan Cathcart)
Sooke artist finds creativity by expanding artistic horizons

Bryan Cathcart, 26, featured at Vancouver gallery

Viking-inspired fantasy writer Joshua Gillingham of Nanaimo and Seattle-based Islamic science fiction editor Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad are co-editing ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star.’ (Photos submitted, illustration by Lada Shustova/Figue)
Nanaimo author co-editing historical anthology connecting Vikings and Muslims

Joshua Gilligham presents ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star’

Saltair-based writer, Krista May. (Janet Kelly photo)
Island writers make long-list for 2021 CBC Short Story Prize

Krista May and Angie Ellis among 33 finalists selected out of over 3,000 entrants

A writer studying in England drew from her roots growing up in Sooke for a story that’s been short-listed for a prestigious international prize.
Former Sooke resident up for prestigious writing award

Cara Marks earns nomination for the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Three Legged Dog Productions performed Jesus Christ Superstar in 2019. Tim Penney photo
Non-profit plans musical renaissance in the Comox Valley

Three Legged Dog Productions is preparing for a summer residency at Filberg Park

Most Read