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Documents About Yucatán

A collection of interesting documents about Yucatán's Peninsula.

Mérida: Safest city in Mexico. NY Times article

Updated: Dec 11, 2011 - 00:12

Article about Merida, Yucatan, Mexico attracctions and safety.

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Cacao in Ancient Maya Religion (Illustrations)

Updated: Sep 30, 2005 - 18:14

The link between lightning and human sustenance recurs with regularity in both central Mexican mythology and accounts from across the Maya world. Indeed, so many
native legends describe maize and other seeds as coming from under a rock or within a mountain and freed by the agency of lightning that it can be considered a core
Mesoamerican belief (see Thompson 1970: 348-354 and Bierhorst 1990: 215). To cite one of the more famous examples, in the Mexican Codex Chimalpopoca (Leyenda de los Soles) Quetzalcoatl uses lightning to recover maize from its original home within tonacatepetl “Sustenance Mountain” (see Bierhorst 1992:146-147). Here maize is not only the future food of humans, it will be ground into dough by the gods to create the first people on earth. A version of this earth-shattering event appears on some Maya vessels (Taube
1986: 57; 1992b: 55-58). Crucially, it is Chaak and his weapon, the streak of lightning embodied in the serpentine leg of K’awiil, which splits the “house of the earth” with a tremendous crack.30

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Cacao in Ancient Maya Religion: First Fruit from the Maize Tree and other Tales from the Underworld

Updated: Nov 03, 2005 - 01:10

Like all agrarian societies, the ancient Maya had an abiding and intimate relationship with the natural world. All manner of trees, plants, leaves, flowers, fruits, and roots found a place in their symbol system and the flora that surrounded them, botth wild and cultivated, was embedded in their spiritual outlook. The crops that fed and enriched them were especially charged with religious sentiment and took pivotal roles in mythic narrative.
In recent years we have gained notable insights into the past use of Theobroma cacao as a status marker and elite consumable, as well as into some aspects of its ritual use and
function as a rudimentary currency (a literal “cash crop”).1 But it is fair to say that we have yet to establish its place in Maya theology. The present study addresses this issue, its focus falling on the art and writing of the Classic period (AD 250-900), although with forays into the succeeding Postclassic (AD 900-c.1542) and Colonial eras (AD c.1542-1820). The themes encountered—fertility and sustenance, sacrifice and regeneration,embodiment and transformation—are pan-Mesoamerican in scope and we can usefully draw on descriptions of central Mexican religion made shortly after the Spanish conquest.
Moreover, since certain Pre-Columbian ideas survive in traditional Maya communities to this day, modern ethnographies are fertile sources of complementary data.

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Maya Culture Today
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"Maya Culture Today" by Bruce Love, Ph.D. is a book mainly for the discerning tourist in Yucatan.

The author, an anthropologist who has first hand experience living with today's Maya people in their communities, gives us a first hand account of their customs and daily lives.
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