Traditional Mayan healers, bone-setters, herbal curanderos, and spiritual guides or shamans, provide good physical and mental health options for poor Indigenous Guatemalans.
Tag: Maya People
Twenty five hundred years ago, a group of peoples settled Tikal, surrounded by the lowland rainforests of the Petén Basin of northern Guatemala. Their descendants would create a remarkable civilization that populated cities and villages across much of southern Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Today, it has returned to the forest but turned into a major archeological attraction.
Maximón is a folk saint of the Maya of Guatemala, associated with pre-Columbian earth lords who provide money or economic opportunity to client-petitioners. He is an opener of the way, a bringer of rain and symbolizes male sexual power.
John Lloyd Stephens, who documented important Maya sites in Central America in 1839, described howler monkeys found at the ruins of Copán as “grave and solemn, almost emotionally wounded, as if officiating as the guardians of consecrated ground.” Today, in sites such as Tikal, they remain standing guard over the ruins, sharing space with hundreds of tourists.
The documentary “Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth” presents an alternative worldview to industrial capitalism consuming the earth, following six young Maya into their daily and ceremonial life, revealing their determination to resist the destruction of their culture and environment.
The Zapatista community of San Marcos Avilés, composed of Tzeltal indigenous people, calls for international solidarity in their struggle for autonomy and natural resource protection from oppressive and violent forces of Mexico’s entrenched neoliberal economy.
The Popol Vuh (Maya K’iche’ for “Council Book” or “Book of the Community”) features a creation myth, the Dawn of Life under the spectre of a flooded world, followed by the epic mythological stories of two Hero Twins: Hunahpu (Blow-gun Hunter) and Xbalanque (Young Hidden/Jaguar-Sun) as they confront the Lords of Death and Disease in the underworld caves of the “Place of Awe.”