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BBC 100件藏品中的世界史009:Maya Maize God Statue玛雅玉米神像mp3

玛雅玉米神像1.jpg

BBC 100件藏品中的世界史

009:EPISODE 9 - Maya maize God Statue
第九集——玛雅玉米神像

Maya maize god (made around 1,300 years ago). Stone statue, found in Honduras
玛雅玉米神像,石像,距今约一千三百年前,出土于洪都拉斯。

The sound of worship coming from a Christian Church in Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico, indicates where the local Indian population are offering their god, not just their devotion, but also their food - it's a practice they've been following for thousands of years.
墨西哥最南端的恰帕斯州当地一间基督教堂传来了祷告的声音。这其实是当地的印第安人在向他们的神供奉他们的虔诚与食物。向神灵供奉食物这种做法对他们而言已经有数千年历史了。

Nowadays we like to say 'we are what we eat', but for generations among the faithful, it's been equally true to say 'we worship what we eat'.
如今我们流行说“吃什么,像什么。”对于这些祖祖辈辈忠诚于了自身这种虔诚的人们,这说法应该改成“吃什么,崇拜什么。”

This willingness to venerate the food on our plate seems to arrive at a particular moment in human development - and it tells us much more about a society than its favourite supper dish.
这种崇拜我们盘中餐的意愿,似乎是在人类发展史上的某个特定时刻降临的,而且它向我们讲叙关于这个社会的故事,远远超过了一个民族晚餐桌上最得意的一盘佳肴。

'It's always present in one way or another - either to be eaten, or to be looked at, or to be worshipped. It is part of the cultural identity.' (Restaurateur Santiago Calva)
“它的存在是永恒的,形式是多样的,要么是食物,要么是欣赏物,要么是崇拜的偶像。它是文化认同的一部分。”经营餐厅的圣地亚哥·卡尔瓦说道。

Some archaeologists argue that food must always have had a divine role even for our earliest ancestors; just think of the cow goddess of Egypt, or Bacchus and Ceres of classical mythology, or Annapurna, the Hindu goddess of food. But there's a particular time, after the end of the Ice Age, so between ten and five thousand years ago roughly, when a range of new foods seems to be accompanied by a range of new gods.
一些考古学家认为食物对我们最早期的祖先而言,必定始终扮演着神圣的角色,例如埃及的牛女神,欧洲古典神话中的酒神与谷神,印度教中的食物女神安纳普尔纳。然而人类历史上有一定特定时期,大概是冰河时代结束后的五千到一万年前之间,当一系列新兴食物的出现,伴随而来的似乎有一系列新造的神灵。

Across the world, people began to identify particular plants that would provide them with food. In the Middle East - as we saw in the last programme - it was wheat and barley; in China millet and rice; in Papua New Guinea taro; and in Africa sorghum. And, as they did so, everywhere stories about gods emerged; gods of death and of rebirth, gods who would guarantee the cycle of the seasons and ensure the return of the crops, and gods - more importantly - that represent food itself. Today's object is myth-made material; a food god from Central America.
在世界各地,人类开始学会识别特定的植物,当成提供食物的农作物。在中东,我们在上期节目中已经看到的,出现的是小麦和大麦;在中国,小米和大米;在巴布亚新几内亚是芋头;在非洲是高粱。随着这些作物的降临,涌现出各种各样的神灵与相关他们的故事,死神、重生之神、掌管季节变换之神、保佐丰收之神,以及最最重要的,代表食物本身的神灵。今天要介绍的物品就是充满了神话色彩,一位来自中美洲的食物之神。

Here, in the heart of the British Museum, we have a god of maize. He's a bust, carved of limestone using a stone chisel and a basalt hammer, and the features are large, symmetrical, the eyes closed, the lips parted - as though this god is in communion with a different world, quietly meditating.
在大英博物馆的中央,我们有一尊玉米之神。他是一件胸像,使用石凿和玄武岩锤在一块石灰石上雕刻出来的。五官宏大,左右对称,双眼紧闭,嘴唇分开,仿佛这位神灵正在与另一个世界进行沟通,沉浸在冥想中。

The arms are bent, the palms of the hands face outwards - one raised, one lower - giving an impression of serene power. The head of the god is covered with an enormous headdress in the shape of a stylised corn cob, and his hair is like the silky strands that line the inside of a cob of corn, inside the wrapping leaves.
双臂弯曲,双掌手头向上,一只抬高,一只较低;让人感觉到一股安祥而强大的力量。神像头部覆盖着一个巨大的头饰,具有很强装饰色彩的玉米芯形状,他的头发就像是玉米须,丝绸般的,跟玉米芯一起被包裹在重重叠叠的玉米叶里。

Originally this statue would have sat with many other similar gods high up on a stepped pyramid-style temple in western Honduras. He was found in Copán, a major Mayan city and religious centre, whose monumental ruins you can still visit today. All of the temple's statues were commissioned by the Mayan ruler of the day, to adorn the magnificent temple that he built at Copán around AD 700. Between the head and the body you can very clearly see the join, and indeed the head looks rather too big for the body, because when the temple in Copán (in western Honduras, from which this came) was destroyed, all the statues fell, and heads and bodies were pieced together, but whether this head and this body precisely belong together is actually not the key thing - because all these gods are about the central power, the central role, of maize to the local people.
本来这尊石像应该与许多其他类似的神像一起,被供奉在洪都拉斯西部那高高的玛雅阶梯式金字塔上的寺庙里。他出土于科潘,一个重要的玛雅城市与宗教中心;直到今天你仍然可以去探访宏伟壮观的遗址。当年玛雅王下命雕刻了这里所有的神像,来装饰这座大概公元700左右建造于科潘的雄伟庙宇。仔细观察一下这件胸像,你可以看出颈部那边有一条明显的拼接线,而且这头像放当在身体上颇显头重脚轻之感。其实这是因为当年出土这神像的科潘神庙曾经被摧毁过,所有的神像都倒蹋了。后来人类重新把散落一地的各个头像与身躯给拼凑起来,所以我们眼前这尊神像就拼成这样子了。不过这头与身是不是原本是一体,这倒是其次,重点是所有这位神灵都代表着玛雅文化中的中央集权、核心作用,也就是当地人民的命脉——玉米。

Our statue of the maize god is obviously a comparative new boy; he's made as late as AD 700. But he comes at the end of a very long tradition; Central Americans had been worshipping him and his predecessors for thousands of years, and his mythic story mirrors the annual planting and harvesting of the corn on which all Central American civilisation depended.
我们这奠神像相对而言可谓是个比较晚辈的小弟弟了,大概制造于公元700年左右。不过他传承了一段相当长的传统;在过去几千年的岁月里,中美洲的人们一直在祭拜他与他的各位前任,而且有关他的神话故事栩栩如生地描绘了所有中美洲文明从古以来依赖的玉米种植与收成,年年如此,生生不息。

Like the maize plant, the maize god is decapitated at harvest time, and is then reborn - fresh, young, and beautiful at the beginning of each new growing season. John Staller, anthropologist and author of the book 'Histories of Maize' explains why the maize god was a common choice for rich and powerful patrons:
就像玉米植株一样,收割季节时,玉米神的头颅就会被割下来,然后再重生,在每一轮新的生长季节都将青春焕发、活力充沛、健美茁壮。人类学家约翰·斯托勒著作了《玉米的历史》这本书,他向我们解释了为什么玉米神公认为富饶与权力的守护神:

'The elite from ancient societies focussed upon corn as having sacred kinds of properties which they then associated with themselves. And this is pretty obvious in the young maize god - the sculpture was apparently a manifestation of mythological beings resulting from the third Maya creation. There were eight mythological beings, four women and four men, who are the ancestors of all the Maya people.
“古代社会精英团队把玉米的地位提升到神圣的财产,并且将自己与玉米联系起来。这点很显然地在这年轻的玉米神身上体现出来;你看,这雕像明显是第三玛雅人造神运动的成果。玛雅历史上有八位神灵,四男四女,被奠为全体玛雅人的祖先。玛雅人认为他们祖先基本上是从玉米进化而来的,由黄玉米与白玉米面团做成的。

The Maya believed that their ancestors essentially came from corn, and they were formed of yellow and white maize dough. Maize was certainly a primary focus of ritual and religious veneration by ancient Meso-American people, going back all the way before the Maya and even into the Olmec civilisation.'
玉米曾经是古代中美洲人礼仪与宗教崇拜的重中之重,可一种追溯回前玛雅,甚至奥尔梅克文明时代。”

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So our maize god is not just a hauntingly beautiful statue, he gives us a real insight into the way ancient American society thought about itself and its environment. The maize god represents both the fact of the agricultural cycle of planting, harvesting and replanting, and the faith in a parallel human cycle of birth, death and rebirth - but more, he is the very stuff of which the Central Americans are made. Where the Hebrew god made Adam out of dust, the Mayan gods used maize to make their humans. The mythical story is told in the most famous epic in the whole of the Americas, the 'Popol Vuh'. For generations, this was passed on through oral traditions before finally being written down in the seventeenth century. Here's a taste of it:
因此,我们的玉米神可不只是一位高高在上的美丽雕像,他允许我们去真正体会到古代美洲社会人们是如何思考社会本身及周遭环境的。玉米神象征着农作物种植、收获与补植这种生生不息的循环过程,同时也象征着另一种生命的循环——人类的出生、死亡与新生命的重新诞生这种生死轮回。更重要的是,玉米神是中美洲人民存在性的最本质事物。希伯来的上帝用尘埃造出了首位人类亚当,玛雅神用玉米来创造人类。在整个美洲神话中,著名史诗《波波尔乌》讲叙了这个神话故事。悠悠岁月里,这故事在一代又一代人中口口相传,一直流传到十七世纪,终于被记载入书本。让我们来品味一下其中一小段:

'And here is the beginning of the conception of humans and of the search for the ingredients of the human body ... So they spoke; the bearer, begetter, the makers, modellers - and a sovereign plumed serpent - they sought and discovered what was needed for human flesh.
“于是众神就开始有了最原始的关于人类的概念,也就着手进行寻找人类肉体的工作。众神开口说:人类应该是负重者、继承者、创造者与模范者,拥有主权意识及灵蛇般的灵性。经过千辛万苦的苦苦寻找,众神最终找到并发现了一种人类肉体需要的物质。

It was only a short while before the sun, moon and stars were to appear above the makers and modellers. Split place, bitter water place, is the name, the yellow corn, white corn, came from there. And this was when they found the staple foods, and then the yellow corn and white corn were ground. After that they put into words the making, the modelling of our first mother-father, with yellow corn, white corn alone for the flesh, food alone for the human legs and arms for our first fathers, the four human works.'
那时众神初混沌,创造出日月星辰,山川河流。在那苦水之滨,养育了黄玉米与白玉米。众神寻找到那里,寻找到这些粮食并进行种植。随后他们念起了咒语,用黄玉米与白玉米造出了人类的肉体,再用其他食品做成人类的四肢,赋于了生命。这就是我们最早的父母亲,众神最初的四件人类作品。”

But why did maize become the favoured food and the revered grain of the Americas? Why not wheat or a certain type of meat? The answer lies not in maize's divine connections, but in the environment that Central America offered. In this part of the world at this time around nine thousand years ago, other food resources were very thin on the ground. There were no easily domesticated animals - as you would find pigs, sheep or cattle elsewhere - and the staples were a trinity of plants that were slowly cultivated and tamed: squashes, beans and maize. But beans and squashes don't become gods - why does maize?
但为什么唯独玉米成为所有美洲人最为青睐的食品与崇敬的谷物?为什么不是小麦或者其它类型的肉类呢?答案却不是因为玉米本身有何神圣性,而是由中美洲自身的环境所决定的。九千年以前,在地球的这部分地区,其他食物来源相当之贫乏。也没有容易驯化的动物。你在其他地区可以找到的猪、羊、牛之类的,这里都没有。当时这里人类的主食主要有三种:瓜类、豆类及玉米。那为什么豆类与瓜类都成不了神,唯独玉米可以呢?

Well, the plant from which maize derives, the teosinte, is wonderfully adaptable. It's able to grow in both the lush wet lowlands and the dry mountainous regions, which means that farmers can plant crops in any of their seasonal dwellings. On top of that, constant harvesting of the grain encourages the plants to grow larger and more abundantly, so maize quickly became plentiful - farmers got a healthy return for investing their labour. But crucially, maize is a rich carbohydrate that gives you a rapid energy hit. But it is, let's face it, pretty stodgy, and so from very early on, farmers also cultivated an ingenious - and tasty - accompaniment; the indigenous chilli. It has virtually no nutritional value but, as we all know, it's uniquely able to liven up dull carbohydrates - and it shows that we've been foodies for as long as we've been farmers.
其实那种玉米进化而来的植物大刍草具有很奇妙的适应性。它既能够轻轻松松生长在郁郁葱葱的低海拔湿地,也能毫不费力地适应干旱少雨的山区,这样农民就可以在任何季节任何地点种植这种植物。最重要的是,这种植物越是频繁收割,或是可以结出更丰硕更充足的果实。因此玉米迅速成为广受欢迎的农作物,家书辛苦付出的汗水总能有丰富的回报。另外关键一点是,玉米是一种营养丰富的碳水化合物,能够迅速地补充人体的能量损失。当然,我们现实点来说吧,玉米吃起来味道真不咋的。很早很早以前,农民就巧妙地培育出了一种美味的调味品——土著辣椒。这种辣椒本身没任何营养价值,但它恰恰能给食之无味的玉米变得好吃起来。这表明,自从我们人类学会了农耕,我们就学会当美食家了。

By AD 1000, maize had spread north and south, virtually through the whole length of the Americas; which is perhaps surprising - because, in its earliest form, not only did maize have little taste, it was practically inedible. It couldn't just be boiled and eaten straight away as it is today. Nine thousand years ago, the maize cob was very hard, and eating it raw would have made you very ill. It needed to be cooked in a mixture of water and white lime.
大概公元前1000左右,玉米已经由南到北,几乎遍布了整个美洲大陆了。这可能会让令人惊奇,因为其实最早期的玉米品种,不单单食之无味,而且根本就几乎不能食用的。不像今天的玉米,可以直接煮来吃。九千年前,玉米芯是很硬很硬的,啃不下嘴;生吃的话你又会病得很惨。它必须在水与白石灰中煮熟。用这沸腾的石灰水来处理早期玉米芯绝对是必不可少的过程。

This elaborate process of boiling the raw kernel in lime and water was essential. Without it, the two key nutrients in the vegetable - the amino acids and vitamin B - would not be released. After all that, it had to be ground into a paste and then made into an unleavened dough. The god of maize expected his disciples to work hard for their supper. Even today, maize still dominates much of Mexican cuisine, and it still carries a surprisingly powerful religious and metaphorical charge, as restaurateur Santiago Calva knows only too well:
没这样做,玉米中最关键的两种营养成份氨基酸和维生素B基本就释放不了。接着,它还要被研磨成糊状,然后再做成一种不发酵的面团。直到今天,玉米仍然在墨西哥菜系中占有主导地们,而且它本身仍然具备有一种令人惊叹的强大宗教与象征性的蕴意。开餐厅的圣地亚哥·卡尔瓦再清楚不过了:

'The continuous spin-offs of maize into daily life is vast and complex. At some stage there will always be maize around, and it jumps any class barrier or i
ntity. Everybody eats it and drinks it, from the richest to the poorest, from the most indigenous to the least indigenous, and that's one thing that unites more than anything else.
 “不断由玉米衍生而来的事物,轻松随意地渗透进人们的日常生活,影响即普遍又复杂。在某些阶段,我们生活周遭永远都有玉米的存在,超过了任何障碍与身份识别。从首富到最穷的,从最土著的到最不像土著的,大家吃玉米、喝玉米汁。玉米是一种比任何事物都要强有力的共同纽带。”

'Maize culture faces two new problems, one being the use of maize as a bio-fuel and the increment of prices, where it directly affects the Mexican population. The other problem being the genetically-modified maize, it's almost personally offensive - and religiously - that you are playing God, as it were ... it's just very sensitive. Especially when you take corn to be used for other purposes other than to be eaten or be worshipped, but rather to be put into a car - it becomes a highly controversial issue.'
  “现在玉米文化面临着两个新问题,其一便是玉米作为生物燃料之后,价格不断升高,这直接影响到了墨西哥的人口增长。另一个问题是转基因玉米,这几乎是一种对个人与宗教的攻击。人类怎么可以扮演神灵的角色?这本来是神灵的权力。所以这问题相当敏感。特别是现在你不是把玉米拿来吃或者崇拜,而是拿来作为汽车输料?!这问题真是相当具有争议性。”

So even today for some people it's unthinkable that maize, the divine food, should end up in a petrol tank. Well beyond Mexico, the idea of genetic modification of crops still causes deep unease, as much religious as scientific - a sense that the natural order is being disturbed, that humans are trespassing on territory that's properly reserved for the gods. In a very real sense, the Mexican maize god is still alive, and he's not to be trifled with.
  所以即使在今天对于一些人来说,神圣食品玉米居然要被运用到汽车油箱里,这简真是不可理喻。而且在墨西哥以外的地方转基因农作物还是引起人们深刻的不安,不无是从科学还是宗教角度而言,人们感觉自然秩序被打乱了,或者人类正在入侵到为神保留的神圣领域。

In our next programme, we'll be turning from the food of the gods to the vessels that it's cooked in. We'll be in Japan, with some of the oldest pottery in the world, and the birth of the stew.
在我们下一期的节目里,我们把目光从食物之神转向烹制食物的器皿。我们将会到达日本,去寻访世界上最古老的陶器,以及炖锅的诞生。
 

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