Mayas complain of government banning rituals at archaeological sites
2012-12-14 0:00

By Mark Stevenson | OttawaCitizen



Maya priests started off ceremonies aimed at marking the end of the current era in the Maya long-count calendar last week, with dancing, incense and rituals designed to thank the gods.

The Mayas performed the "New Fire" ceremony at a park in Mexico City, but complained they have been barred by authorities from performing rituals at their ancestral temples in the Maya region.

The Mayas measure time in 394-year periods known as Baktuns. The 13th Baktun ends around Dec. 21, and 13 is considered a sacred number for the Maya.

The estimated 800,000 surviving Mayas in Mexico are hoping for a better new Baktun than the one now ending, which began around 1618. It included the painful aftermath of the Spanish conquest in which Mayas and other indigenous groups saw their temples and sacred writings systematically destroyed and their population decimated by European diseases and forced labour.

"This is the ending of an era for the Maya, an era which has been very intense for us, in which we have had suffering and pain," said Maya priest Jose Manrique Esquivel, 52, who wore a feather headdress and body paint for the ceremony. For the new Baktun, he said, "we are praying the wars, the conflicts, the hunger to end."

The Maya survived all of that suffering with their pride intact.

"We were not conquered, we are still here, we are alive and so is our culture our language, our food, our history," Manrique Esquivel said.


Mayan Warrior in traditional dress

The priest, who is in agreement with most archaeologists and astronomers, doesn’t believe the ancient Mayas predicted the world would end with the close of the current Baktun. Some bloggers and astronomy enthusiasts have suggested the Maya calendar would "run out" on Dec. 21.

Despite the generally festive atmosphere at the ceremony, there was some discontent that the government won’t allow Maya priests and healers to perform their ceremonies inside archaeological sites like Chichen Itza, Coban and Tulum that their ancestors built.

"We would like to do these ceremonies in the archaeological sites, but unfortunately they won’t let us enter," Manrique Esquivel said. "It makes us angry, but that’s the way it is ... we perform our rituals in patios, in fields, in vacant lots, wherever we can."

Francisco de Anda, the press director for the government’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, which oversees archaeological sites in Mexico, said there were two reasons for the ban on ceremonies. "In part it is for visitor safety, and also for preservation of the sites, especially on dates when there are massive numbers of visitors."

[...]

Read the full article at: ottawacitizen.com





Related Articles
Rituals of the Modern Maya
Ancient Mayan Rituals Revealed by Ordinary Objects
Maya Death Rituals - Wikipedia


Latest News from our Front Page

Pressure from the United Patriots Front Stops Mosque Plan
2016-04-28 20:10
Pressure from the United Patriots Front appears to have killed off a mosque development in Narre Warren North. The City of Casey council now looks likely to withhold planning approval for the development in a special meeting set for Tuesday night. A council report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, recommends that the approval be blocked. The mosque opponents’ cause has been helped by councillor ...
Police face questions over the influence of the Freemasons
2016-04-28 20:48
South Yorkshire Police today face questions over whether powerful 'secret society' the Freemasons held sway over the force at the time of Hillsborough. Families of victims say that officers who were Masons were promoted into powerful positions despite being ill-equipped, including match commander David Duckenfield. Duckenfield told the fresh inquests he had been a Freemason since 1975 and became head of his ...
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims
2016-04-27 2:23
St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July. The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’
2016-04-27 2:09
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown. The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent. He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop
2016-04-25 23:10
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are. ... London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race. Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event. Marathon ...
More News »