Figure 1 from Making Maya Men: Fantasy, Voyeurism, and Queer Abjection
Franciscan friar Diego de Landa, in the mid sixteenth century, and Hollywood film producer and director Mel Gibson, in the early twenty-first century, created Maya men as abject queer beings. In 1566 Landa wrote his Relación de las cosas de Yucatán, an extensive ethnographic text. In 2006, Gibson released Apocalypto, a Hollywood film in which all dialogue was in Yucatec Maya. Landa and Gibson both argued that they showed the true Maya world, but each expressed a visceral reaction to Maya sacrifice, and, in so doing, infested their own fantasies with nightmares of savage Maya men. This article argues that by analyzing the voyeurism and fantasies of Landa and Gibson we can come to terms with the position of Maya society in the modern Western imagination.
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