OK, time to step back from the satire a bit and deliver some facts:
There has been plenty of ridicule thrown at the Maya regarding the fact that the “end of the world” did not occur on December 21, 2012, as has been overhyped for several years now. But the Maya were not (and are not) ignorant. According to some interpretations, December 21, 2012 marked the end of the Maya “long count,” a calendar system that tracked 5,128-year periods. But the long count system had fallen out of use prior to European intervention in the Western Hemisphere anyway.
Regardless, the “end of the world” that supposedly was associated with last Friday was not the Western interpretation of the end of the world, complete with fireballs, destruction, and apocalyptic chaos. This was merely the end of a cycle, and thus a new beginning–the start of a new era. This is a positive thing.
But most of all, indigineous peoples should not be blamed for the idiocy of those who misinterpreted the Maya, or for the idiocy of those who believed or acquiesced in those misinterpretations. The fact is that the Maya, like the thousands of other groups of American Indian peoples that existed and still exist, contibuted and continue to contribute much to our world–this is an idea quite the opposite of what the typical textbook and classroom perpetuates. Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that blame has been cast on Native peoples for this failed apocalypse, with the rampant ignorance of the non-Native world toward the histories of the original peoples of the Western Hemisphere.
For the record, below is a list of Mayan contributions to our world. The list does not necessarily reflect the Maya as the sole contributors as these items; some contributions are shared with other Native groups. For details on these contributions and other excellent information about the Maya and other American Indian peoples, see Emory Dean Keoke & Kay Marie Porterfield, American Indian Contributions to the World: 15,000 Years of Inventions and Innovations (2003).
List of Mayan Contributions to Our World
Raised Bed Agriculture
Recorded American History
Base 20 Mathematical System
America’s First Cities
Metal Drill Bits
Turquoise and Silver Jewelry
Traction and Countertraction