So Mayans, Mayas, or Maya?
The fact is, the word “Maya” should be used in all three of the above situations.
Even here at Adept Expeditions we have been guilty of this mistake as to reach more people. It is more likely someone will be searching for the key word term “Mayan” and we are aware of this so we continue to use the incorrect protocol however this creates conflict as we feel it is a disservice to the indigenous tradition.
We do however hope to educate more people in effect to eventually shift the tide and create an environment where we can carry out the correct protocol wherever possible.
Here are some specific examples showing correct usage:
As a singular noun: She is (a) Maya.
As a plural noun: They are Maya.
As an adjective: Maya astronomy, Maya calendar, Maya civilization, Maya clothing, Maya culture, Maya folklore, Maya food, Maya glyphs, Maya hairstyle, Maya heritage, Maya hieroglyphs, Maya pyramids, Maya religion, Maya ritual, Maya warfare.
Now it gets a little more complicated with the name of the spoken language…
The word “Mayan” actually refers to the family of 29 to 32 languages spoken by the Maya.
However, there is one exception to this: according to The Open School of Ethnography and Anthropology,
The use of these words suddenly gets complicated…There is one Mayan language whose proper name is “Maya”! The native speakers of Yucatec Maya call their language Maya. Maya is the correct proper name of the language that they speak.
If you want to developer a deeper understanding of the indigenous traditions, connect with the ancient sacred sites and study The Mysteries of the Maya, consider joining us as we embark on another Adept Expeditions…
Mysteries of the Maya (Study Trip)
Our 2nd annual Adept Expeditions community adventure & study trip take place November 11-17, 2018 on the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico and you are invited to join us!
Learn more: Mysteries of the Maya study trip – November 11-17, 2018 | Yucatan Mexico