Historic and Modern Maya. Tulum. Traditional Maya religion combined shamanistic beliefs with ancestor veneration and the worship of gods, including lords of the underworld and gods associated with celestial bodies such as the sun and Venus.
Traditional Maya religion combined shamanistic beliefs with ancestor veneration and the worship of gods, including lords of the underworld and gods associated with celestial bodies such as the sun and Venus.
Ball courts were conceived as places where one could communicate with the underworld. Ball court imagery makes it clear that human sacrifices were conducted there. Ritual homicide.
The cross was an important religious symbol to the Maya before the Spanish arrived. It symbolized the Waka Chan, or World Tree.
Francisco de Montejo the younger only succeeds in conquering Yucatán in 1547 after two failed attempts by his father.
The Spanish capital is established at T’ho, which is renamed Mérida.
Yucatán is only thinly settled by Spaniards as the landscape holds no precious metals, and was not suitable for Spanish farming methods.Colonial Yucatan
At the top were Peninsulares, or officials of aristocratic rank from Spain. They were the gentedescente“descent people.”
Spain had tried to install the encomienda system in Yucatan, but this had largely failed.
Haciendas were also largely unsuccessful until henequen cultivation was introduced in the 19th century.
The Spanish tried to induce labor from Maya with a church tax, which they could not pay and which hacendados paid for them to place them into debt peonage.
The execution of a Maya leader and a massacre prompted the Maya to revolt in 1847.
The Maya rebels were led by mestizos. The Mayas killed and mutilated most non-Maya that they came across.
The Maya fought with machetes and guns purchased from the British with money from logging.
Republican forces broke the siege in 1848. Yucatán petitioned to join Mexico after being turned down by the US.
The Maya consolidated into a state in the South and Southeast.
The Maya created a state focused upon a wooden cross located next to a well. This cross spoke, and its statements were interpreted by an oracle.
Maya Revitalization Movement
Chan Santa Cruz was entered by the Mexican army in 1901, and the last military action was taken against the Cruzob in 1933. Estimates of the deaths during the caste war range from 50,000-200,000.
Travelling through Yucatan I wanted to see what remained of the Balam Na. I arrived in Felipe Carrillo at dusk, and followed the church bells.The Search for the Balamna
Millions of Maya still speak their languages and live in their traditional houses. They practice slash and burn farming as they have for centuries.
They would be termed “independent peasants” as they live in their own communities. Many of these are termed “closed communities” as they run their own affairs and do not welcome outsiders.
Many practice a syncretic religion which blends elements of the indigenous religion with Catholicism. This religion revolves around folk saints which embody many aspects of their former gods.Peasants