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タイトル: メソアメリカに於けるシンボルの諸体系
その他のタイトル: The Symbol Systems of Mesoamerica
著者: 狩野, 千秋
著者(別言語): Kano, Chiaki
発行日: 1983年8月16日
出版者: 東京大学文学部考古学研究室
掲載誌情報: 東京大学文学部考古学研究室研究紀要. 第2号, 1983.8, pp. 229-292
抄録: Before the appearance of writing in Mesoamerica, symbols with a religious significance had appeared. These symbols were of course devised by the Olmecs and they seem to have been used to symbolize the attributes and functions of the gods and at the same time as a means of distinguishing between the gods. In Mayan culture also, a number of important signs which were included among the hieroglyphs often appear independently, attached to images of gods and to religious vestments and ceremonial objects. In these cases, it can be considered that they were performing some specific symbolic function, having been removed from the context of the calendar or inscriptions. These iconographic features surely follow the traditions of the Olmec styles and can be inferred to have been a intermediate culture; in particular, they were inherited by the Mayans through the Izapa style. The themes or subjects of the symbols are tropical animals and birds, such as jaguars, snakes, crocodiles, owls, etc. ; plants, such as corn ; natural forces and phenomena, such as rain, water, fire, wind, thunder, storms; celestial bodies, such as the sun, the moon, Venus, etc. . Intellectual associations or mythological themes linking the concept "precious" to rain and water and jade, etc. are also expressed through these symbols. The basic composition principles of the symbols had already been regulated in the Olmec time. A realistic image was first dissolved into its component elements, and each element was then abstracted and transformed into a cipher-type geometric pattern. Next, the different, composite symbols would be newly created by making various combinations of the cipher-like elements. Olmec symbols include the U-shape, the X-shape (the St. Andrew's cross or crossed bands), V-shape, Y-shape, stepped motifs, crosses, petal shapes, quincunx, rhomboids, circlets or circles and dots, spirals, etc.. These symbols are attached to colossal heads, stone monu-ments, stela, altars, rock carvings, reliefs, masks, Celts, figurines, ceramic wares, etc. . In the Izapa style, the number of symbols is limited compared to the Olmec style, but the symbols are more developed and formal in design and more decorative. As for the symbols inherited from the Olmecs, the U-shape and the X-shape are most common, and in the Izapa style these symbols are attached to compound creatures which combine the characteristics of felines and reptiles. Olrriec symbols were also incorporated in the Zapotecan style and are to be found in tumuli murals, in stelae, and in effigy urns of humans; animals, birds, etc. In the Izapa and Zapotecan age, there were plentiful contacts with the Teotihuacan culture in the Valley of Mexico, and this led to appearance of various new, kinds of symbols. Ultimately; these symbols were all absorbed by the Maya hieroglyphs, resulting in the creation of the only high-level glyph system in Mesoamerica. The date, month, time, and numbers were all considered sacred by the Mayans and each was linked with specific gods. In the case of the Mayans, most of the symbols created by the Olmecs were adopted as symbols to express calendar dates and each month. For exa-mple, the U-shape was used for the moon or as the symbol of the M god, the X-shape was the sign of the Uo month or was used in connection with the Dragon god (bird-serpent god) and the moan bird. The cross was called the Kan cross and was incorporated into the hieroglyph for Pop, the first month of the year and was related to the Jaguar god. The T-shape was used as the glyph for the IK day and was the symbol of the long-tipped god or the B god. Besides these, the petal sign was used as the Kin sign and was ahe symbol of the Suri god; circles and circlets were the signs of the water day Muluc; the rhomboid was the symbol of Lamat day. and was related to Venus. The various abstract signs described above were devised by the Olmecs, but iconographically speaking; we do not yet have an adequate understanding of the actual shape of the original images. This paper analyses the main symbols, such as the U-shape, the X-shape, the cross; the quincunx etc., indicates their original shapes, then offers a hypothesis concerning the process by which they were transformed; into abstract symbols.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2261/4364
ISSN: 02873850


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