Know Your Maya

By Robert & Joanne Birce of Alma Libre

Would you like to learn more about the fascinating world of Mayan culture and language? Alma Libre Bookstore in Puerto Morelos has a large selection of books on the subject.

The Maya
Beginning with Michael Coe’s “The Maya”. This is the quintessential guide to the history of the Maya; updated regularly, it has long been established as the best and most readable introduction to this great ancient civilization. Coe reveals a lifetime of work in these pages. Now in its sixth edition, Coe incorporates his latest discoveries and research. A special feature of this revised edition is a new guide to reading Maya hieroglyphic writing.

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A Forest of Kings
“A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya” by David Freidel and Linda Schele, two Maya archaeologists, use their recent interpretation of Maya hieroglyphs to tell a tale of war and ritual for the first time. They explore the world of the Maya before the European invasion, from the beginning of its inception to its decline and destruction by the Spanish. At its height, Maya civilization flourished under great kings who expanded their kingdoms and built some of the most impressive works of architecture and art in the ancient world.

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An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods
To learn more about the hieroglyphs we suggest, “An Illustrated Dictionary of the Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya” by Mary Miller and Karl Taube. This single-volume introduces us to the labyrinthine of the symbolic world. It is the first ever English-language dictionary of Mesoamerican mythology and religion. It describes not only the main gods and symbols of the Maya, but also the Aztecs, Mixtecs, Olmecs, Teotihuacanos, Toltecs and Zapotecs. Dictionary entries are illustrated and range in topic from acrobats to yearbearers. The authors draw on the latest Mexican discoveries to produce a both educational and entertaining reference.

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Maya for Travelers and Students
And to communicate with today’s Mayans we recommend “Maya for Travelers and Students: A Guide to Language and Culture in Yucatan” by Gary Bevington. This English-language introduction to the native language of the Yucatecan Maya, presents easily understood practical information for anyone who would like to communicate with the Maya in their native tongue. In addition to covering the pronunciation and grammar, Bevington includes tips on the culture, a Maya-English-Spanish glossary and an English-Maya glossary.

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These are just a few of the books we have available on this amazing topic at Alma Libre Bookstore in Puerto Morelos. Availability is limited so if you would like us to hold one of these books for you, or you would like to place a special order, please drop by our shop in Puerto Morelos or contact us at: You can also visit our website and sign up for our monthly newsletter at

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