For centuries, the ancient Mayans made an annual pilgrimage from the seaport settlement of Pole on Yucatan to the nearby island of Cozumel. It was a somewhat dangerous cross channel journey in canoes, which were nothing more than hollowed out tree trunks.
Their goal was to worship the goddess of fertility, Ixchel, consult the goddess’s oracle and bring a new era of balance to the natural world.
One of the most ancient traditions in Mayan culture, the pilgrimages came to a stop with the Spanish conquest and lay dormant for more than 500 years.
Six years ago, the custom was revived at Xcaret (pronounced esh-ka-ret), a 200-acre eco-park located about 37 miles south of Cancun close to where Pole once stood.
Among its many attractions, Xcaret is also the home of the Yuri Knorozov Center, named after the Russian linguist and ethnographer who’s known for his pivotal role in deciphering the Mayan script.
Research into Mayan culture continues at the Center to this day, which helps verify the authenticity of events such as "the Sacred Mayan Journey."
In the late afternoon on the day before the pilgrimage, I entered Xcaret’s Mayan Market and saw a modern day shaman holding a cup of burning copal incense as a blessing to those arriving.
With my bag of cocoa beans clutched in my hand as the currency I’d use in the outdoor market to purchase everything from leather goods and clay whistles shaped like animals to gourds and atole (a hot beverage made from corn), ominous-looking Mayan skeleton men, a.k.a. "lords of death," wordlessly milled through the crowd.
The cocoa tree had deep meaning for the Mayans, and the foamy chocolate made from its beans was considered "the food of the gods." Common folks like myself are able to purchase the traditional beverage for a mere pittance of a few cocoa beans at the marketplace.
For the Mayan, cocoa was so prized a commodity that its beans were used for the exchange of goods.
Unable to speak one another’s language, we bartered over prices and communicated back and forth by holding up an appropriate number of fingers.
Three beans for a clay whistle, five for a cup of chocolate made from ground beans boiled with milk in a large black kettle over an open fire.
As men grilled skewers of meat over a pit and woman, dressed in the traditional white cotton garb of their ancestors, used mortal and pestle to grind corn for making Mayan traditional tortillas, a group of traditional dancers performed a nearby.
Australian Government Pushing ‘Internet Tax’ To Pay For NSA Style Spying 2014 07 29
Forcing private companies to become mass surveillance hubs
The Australian government is pushing to implement a ”surveillance tax” on the people of the country in order to pay for a mandate that would see communications companies retaining data on customers for two years.
In a disturbing development that should serve as a warning to Americans, the Australian Attorney-General admitted that the surveillance ...
Japanese leader proposes first-ever ’Robot Olympics’ 2014 07 29
Nations of the world will be sending their most talented athletes to Tokyo in 2020 for the Olympic Games – but if Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gets his way, they might also be pitting robots against each other.
Abe announced his vision while touring robotics factories in Tokyo and Saitama, which is located just north of the country’s capital. According ...
Israel Student Union Set Up “War Room” to Sell Gaza Massacre on Facebook 2014 07 29 This article was published on July 14, 2014. The death toll in Gaza as of today, July 23, 2014, reaches 678 according to Al-Akhbar.
Students at the IDC Herzliya “war room,” seen here in a screenshot, focus on posting propaganda justifying Israel’s attack on Gaza on Facebook.
As the death toll from Israel’s savage bombardment of Gaza continues to climb, Israel has ...
Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high 2014 07 29 Last year 1,600 people in Sweden took their own lives - and for Swedes aged 15 to 24, the numbers haven’t been so high since 1989.
Statistics for 2013 from Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) found that the number of suicides had increased for the second year in a row. In 2011 there were 1,378 suicides in Sweden.