This ritual dance resembles the Popol Vuh’s19 tale20 of the descent of Hun-Hanuhpu into the underworld where he was defeated and sacrificed. However, Guatemala under a progressive military regime in this century21, the native highlanders were sieged again. The base of this confrontation is a land-tenure system through which the ‘ladinos’22 still dominate the indigenous. In the last decades a civil war of thirty years has alter, by its violence, the style of life of millions of people. Although the Mayans continue to be dominated, they live on a subsistence level from one year to the next.
For example, to the natives, land is sacred and it’s more than the means to produce maize, they believe to be loaned by their ancestors. It, therefore, represents the base upon the individual Maya and family life and the community’s socio-religious structure. This contemporary confrontation, where approximately seventy-percent of Guatemala’s arable land is held by the twenty-percent of the population, leads to the destruction of the contemplation of rites evolved from the Mayan habits together with the liturgical elements of the traditional Spanish Catholicism.
Meanwhile recalling that for the Maya the forces of nature and destiny are capricious and most be propitiated with sacrifice, the only explanation some Maya have undoubtedly interpreted this tension of the armed-conflict with is the retribution for their sins. Appendix The story of Maximi?? n “Long time ago ,lived a dozen shamans (ajkunes) who commanded the thunder and lighting. Six of them were old married men and the other six where young and single. The single ajkunes schemed to overpower their six elders by bewitching and seducing their wives.
When the elder shamans discovered this, they took preemptive vengeance with cosmic- bodies and guarded their wives with a magical being. In the deep forest they found an enormous tree, constantly praying over it and incensing it, they felled it and carved it as the patron idol of traitors. As the tree took form it came to life. The six older akjunes used spells to transform Maximi?? n into a woman, giving him the appearance of their six wives, and sent him in turn to each of the young traitorous shamans. The disguised Maximi??
n impassioned them driving them insane with lust and despair, until the young ajkunes surrendered.. “23 The story of Hun-Hanuhpu The Popol Vuh’s tale tells the story of the descent of Hun-Hanuhpu into the underworld where he was defeated and sacrificed and where these lords took his head and placed on a dead tree. The instant his head touched the tree, abundant foliage and fruits came into life. Consequently Mayas believe that just as Hun-Hanuhpu’s head, the dead corn seeds corn planted beneath the earth will germinate and sprout new life from the dead.
Bibliography Shigeto Yoshida. Lo maya en el sincretismo religioso: el caso de los mayas yucatecos. “Simposio: Re-creacii?? n de las fronteras i?? tnicas. ” (Shizuoka University, Japan) [on-line] (cited without date). To consult in the World Wide Web: <URL: http://www. langc. tohoku. ac. jp/syoshida/works/antigua. htm >. Kay B. Warren. Pan-mayanismo y pluriculturalismo en Guatemala. (Antropology, Princeton University) [on-line](March 20, 1998). To consult in the World Wide Web: <URL: http://dkc. mse. jhu. edu/~scholz/Iprints/warrenspan. htm>. Fournier Merlinda.
The World & I Online: Mayan Catholicism in Chichicastenango. Volume 02, Page 503 [on-line] (December, 1987) To consult in the World Wide Web: <URL: http://www. worldandi. com/public/1987/december/cl5. cfm>. Matthew R. Dudgeon. Institute for Comparative and International Studies (ICIS). Vernacular modernities: Intellectual, analytical, and theoretical significance. (Emory University),[on-line] (May 06, 2002). To consult in the World Wide Web : <URL: http://www. emory. edu/COLLEGE/ICIS/programs/vm/dudgeonstatement. html>. Casa Xelaju. Chichicastenango. [on-line] (cited without date).
To consult in the World Wide Web: <URL: http://www. casaxelaju. com/calendar/chichi/ >. Joaquin Francisco Mui?? oz. [on-line] (cited without date). To consult in the World Wide Web: <URL: http://www. io. com/~reuter/Munoz. htm >. Santiago Atitlan. Mayan Religion:The Cofradias [on-line] (cited without date). To consult in the World Wide Web: <URL: http://www. santiagoatitlan. com/Mayan_Religion_/The_Cofradias/the_cofradias. html >. Santiago Atitlan. Mayan Religion: Maximon [on-line] (cited without date).
To consult in the World Wide Web: <URL: http://www. santiagoatitlan.com/Mayan_Religion_/Maximon/maximon. html >. Bob Makransky. Astrology Corner Maximon [on-line] (2001). To consult in the World Wide Web: <URL: http://www. dearbrutus. com/maximon. html >. Erika Mendoza. The Cult of Maximon. (Organizacii?? n Tips. Cancun, Mexico). [on-line] (cited without date). To consult in the World Wide Web: <URL: http://www. mayadiscovery. com/ing/life/default. htm >. Allen J. Christenson. Iconomania: studies in visual culture. The Symposium Issues: Spaces of Transformation: Precolumbian Antecedents for Modern Highland Mayan Ceremonialism.[on-line] (cited without date).
To consult in the World Wide Web: <URL: http://www. humnet. ucla. edu/humnet/arthist/icono/christenson/maya. htm >. 1 The term Maya refers not to the classic Mayas, but a new type of society that had emerged. These new populations still conserved traits from Mayan origin (like the agricultural techniques, the measurements of time, and the same root of their different languages), and they had acquired new characteristics as a result of a period of supremacy and expansionism.
These new changes rose in the city-states that brought the emergence of new settlements in forms of power supported mainly by wars. In other words they appeared as social militarized organizations denoted as fortress-cities. In those times there were large migrations of nahual-speaking tribes originated from the gulf and high-plateau of Mexico. 2 Religious Syncretism and its Consequences in Mayan Society J. Putnam 3 The two perspectives where taken from: Yoshida, Shigeto Lo maya en el sincretismo religioso: el caso de los mayas yucatecos.
“Simposio: Re-creacii?? n de las fronteras i??tnicas. ” Pg. 2. 4 Quetzal (quetzalli) A tropical climbing bird living in the regions of Central America. 5 Quetzalcoatl, or other times referred as Kukulcan, the chief Maya god of the Sun. 6 These centers belong to specific indigenous communities, for example Chinautla belongs to the Poqoman area, Santa Apolonia to the kaqchikel territory and Rabinal the achi’ area. 7 Nixtamal: Indigenous word that refers to the corn dough made for the tortillas (corn pancakes). 8 Religious Syncretism and its Consequences in Mayan Society J. Putnam 9 Cofradias: brotherhoods 10 Fournier Merlinda.
The World ; I Online: Mayan Catholicism in Chichicastenango. 11 Judas of Iscariot: the betrayer of Jesus 12 One of the Native language spoken by the Mam, one of the Mayan populations. 13 The entire story of Maximon can be read on the Appendix pg. 14 Tzutuhil: A Mayan community 15 aguardiente: is a liquor made out of sugar cane 16 atole: is a non-alcoholic drink made with water and corn-flour 17 fiambre: is a type of Spanish stew made of meat or fish, vegetables, olives and capers. 18 Christenson Allen J. Precolumbian Antecedents of Modern Highland Mayan Ceremonialism.
19 Popol Vuh is the sacred book of the Quiches (a Mayan population) which is considered to be the best source of the ancient Mayan highland cosmology. Its written texts describe the creation of the world and the role of the gods in maintaining life. 20 The entire tale of Hun-Hanuhpu can be read on the Appendix pg. 21 Civilian rule was restored in Guatemala only in January 1986 22 ‘ladinos’: westernized Guatemalans. 23 Mendelson Michael E. Los Escandalos de Maximi?? n. Mari?? a Andrea Ci?? ceres Sandoval D 0197 010 World Cultures Individual Study.