Royal BC Museum’s upcoming Maya exhibition stars rare artifacts never seen outside of Guatemala

April 4, 2019

VICTORIA, BC—For the first time in North America, Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises—a remarkable exhibition highlighting Maya civilization past and present—will open May 17, 2019 at the Royal BC Museum.

On the heels of last year’s record-breaking Egypt: The Time of Pharaohs, this major new feature spotlights the mystery, legacy and resilience of another of the world’s great civilizations: the Maya of Central America.  

The exhibition boasts the world’s largest and most impressive display of Maya objects from Guatemala, and features more than 300 precious jade, ceramic, gold, stone and textile artifacts reflecting classic and contemporary Maya culture.

Visitors will discover a powerful culture that rose in the tropical rainforests of Guatemala thousands of years ago, and learn how science and belief shaped the Maya identity from ancient times to present day.

This exhibition coincides with UNESCO’s Year of Indigenous Languages and will highlight the 30 Maya languages that are still spoken today by almost half the population of Guatemala.

“We know this theme of language resilience resonates strongly here in British Columbia,” says Prof. Jack Lohman, CEO of the Royal BC Museum. “The enduring success of the Royal BC Museum’s Our Living Languages exhibition, which celebrates the resilience of First Nations languages in our province, speaks to growing public interest in—and enthusiastic support for—the revitalization of Indigenous languages in the Americas.”

Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises is a joint venture between MuseumsPartner and the Royal BC Museum, with lending partners that include the most relevant museums and collections of Guatemala, and support from the Guatemala Ministry of Culture and Sports. Destination Greater Victoria is the Lead Marketing Partner.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit: Stay updated on exhibition news with the Royal BC Museum blog, or via social media: #RBCMMaya

About the Royal BC Museum:  The Royal BC Museum explores the province’s human history and natural history, advances new knowledge and understanding of BC, and provides a dynamic forum for discussion and a place for reflection. The museum and archives celebrate culture and history, telling the stories of BC in ways that enlighten, stimulate and inspire. Located in Victoria on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen (Songhees and Xwsepsum Nations), we are a hub of community connections in BC–onsite, offsite and online–taking pride in our collective histories.



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Julie Ovenell
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