What's a Quetzal?

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ColonialCoinsUK

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Another thing drawing me to central/south America, and beyond Mexico, is a long-standing interest in the ancient cultures of the region - the Maya, the Inca, the Aztec and the Olmec's and so on. If I won the Lottery then my travel plans would be to visit these sites, unlike friends and colleagues who seem to prefer major cities and pristine beaches.

As a result I could not resist this half-quetzal note from Guatemala depicting the Temple of the Jaguar at Tikal on the back and Tecun Uman, one of the last rulers of the Maya, on the front. Does anyone know if the Maya glyph means something specific or is it just used as an example? Languages are not my strong point, google translate? xD

The currency is named after the Quetzal, the spectacular red and green bird seen flying across the face of the note whose long tail feathers were incorporated into the headdresses of the Aztec and Maya ruling class. As Tecun Uman's spirit guide, and a symbol of Liberty, it features on many notes and coins from post-colonial Guatemala.

I suppose that means I have already drifted south along the coast and have also started my first 'modern' set.:o
 

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As a result I could not resist this half-quetzal note from Guatemala depicting the Temple of the Jaguar at Tikal on the back and Tecun Uman, one of the last rulers of the Maya, on the front. Does anyone know if the Maya glyph means something specific or is it just used as an example? Languages are not my strong point, google translate? 

Not sure about the glyph but I tend to think that it is a stylized depiction of the man himself, probably not an actual Mayan glyph. One of my favorite video docs is "Breaking the Maya code", it's a couple of hours long but worth viewing if you're into to such things. I've probably watched it a dozen times, usually just playing in the background as I'm working or researching banknotes.

You're stacking up some nice notes. (thumbsu This note got me searching and I really enjoyed reading about Tecun Uman, and the legend of the quetzal. Never would have known if not for this note. ^^

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'a stylized depiction of the man himself' - this makes much more sense:).

I have watched many documentaries on ancient cultures, and often end up doing so more than once, as I seem to pick up on different aspects each time. I would have been happy to have a career studying these and nearly did - still ended up solving problems and working out what is going on, just as a scientist instead.

It would be great to have a collection of ancient coins but I really would find picking one area of focus an impossibility - and I have triedxD

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