Archive for September, 2007

Maya Sacrifice

September 28th, 2007 by ejalbright

I’ve seen a lot of homemade videos shot at Chichen Itza. None like this one. It even has special effects.

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Chichen Itza Equinox Flap Caught on Video

September 27th, 2007 by ejalbright

Although I read some Spanish, I barely understand it when spoken. Therefore I can’t tell you what is going on during these videos, but I can make an educated guess. It seems that during the famous equinoctial light-and-shadow event at Chichen Itza on Sept. 21, someone decided to park an ambulance directly in front of El Castillo, blocking the view of those gathered. Harsh words were exchanged, and a representative of INAH gets yelled at by those assembled.

Here it is, an Equinoctial Melee, in four acts:

PART ONE

PART TWO

PART THREE

PART FOUR

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Chichen Itza by Air

September 26th, 2007 by ejalbright

A few seconds of the archaeological zone by way of a passing plane:

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Hacienda Chichen Hosts Maya Spirituality Symposium

September 25th, 2007 by ejalbright

Fire Ceremony
Traditional Maya New Fire ceremony at the Hacienda Chichen last week (photo courtesy Belisa Barbachano).

The Hacienda Chichén, which adjoins the archaeological zone of Chichén Itzá, hosted “Yaax Molayil Maaya J-Meno’ob Yeetel Ts’ak Yajo’ob,” a four-day symposium on Maya traditional medicine, spirituality, rituals and traditions. The even was organized by the Kuchka’ab Yeetel J-Men Maayao’ob A.C. a non-profit organization.

Belisa Barbachano, who runs the Hacienda Chichén and sponsored the event, dropped me a quick note about these magical four days.

Twenty-two J-Men and Ix-Men, Maya elders and spiritual leaders, participated in workshops and shared their knowledge and experiences about traditional Maya spiritual and healing practices. Over the course of four days, these elders performed several Maya ceremonies and healing rituals including New Fire, Saka and a Maya wedding ceremony.

“A few Maya from my staff were accepted as Maya Healing Students and will continue their traditional training under the guidance of J-Mens near Chichén Itzá,” Belisa wrote. Her son Ruben will be working with Maya J-Men experienced in Maya medicinal plants and herbs to create a large Maya botanical garden at the Hacienda Chichén. “It will serve to promote the Maya healing traditions,” she says. The Hacienda also plans to hold workshops on simple home healing remedies for the Maya community to revitalize their interest in the healing practices of their ancestors.

More photos below:

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Pavarotti Watches Kukulcan Drip Down El Castillo

September 24th, 2007 by ejalbright

For the first equinox since being named a Wonder of the World, the Patronato Cultur (Department of Cultural Patrimony) of the state of Yucatan had giant screens brought in to project the image of the recently departed Italian tenor, Pavorotti, who gave a concert at Chichen Itza in 1997.

According to one news account, the Maya rain god Chaac trumped the opera singer by causing a steady downpour throughout the afternoon. The rain disappointed some 3,000 people gathered to watch Kukulcan, the feathered serpent god, crawl down the side of the pyramid El Castillo. Apparently the rain made it appear that Pavarotti was weeping.

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Maya H-men Gather Today at Hacienda Chichen

September 20th, 2007 by ejalbright

Maya doctors and priests of the traditional ways will meet today at the Hacienda Chichen to promote ancestral values.

Priests, or “h-men,” from Yucatan, Campeche, Quintao Roo, Chiapas and Belize will meet under the auspices of the Merida organization, “Kuch Kaab Yéetel J-Men Maaya’ ob,” at the Hacienda Chichen. “The attendance of 22 participants is hoped to promote the development of the values of the ancestral culture of the Maya”, says Valerio Canché Yam, president of the organization.

Today is also the fall equinox, when the light-and-shadow representation of Kukulcan crawls down the side of the El Castillo. The Hacienda Chichen is only a few hundred meters from the ancient structure.

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Finally, Someone Posts Pavarotti at Chichen Itza!

September 19th, 2007 by ejalbright

Pavarotti, the great Italian tenor, died a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been scouring the Web for footage of his concert at Chichen Itza in 1997. Looks like someone dug up a scratchy video tape of the event that was broadcast around the world more than a decade ago. Enjoy!

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Film on Maya Calendar Long on Philosophy, Short on Details

September 18th, 2007 by ejalbright

“In Between 2 Worlds” is a documentary about the Maya calendar by Jose Jaramillo. The film premieres this weekend in San Diego. Below is an excerpt that if indicative of the film, places it firmly in the realm of New Age spiritualism.

For more information about the film, including its premiere on Sept. 20, visit the Web site at www.inbetween2worlds.com.

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Governor Turns to International Bank to Finance Bullet Train to Chichen Itza

September 17th, 2007 by ejalbright

Bullet Train

Yucatan Governor Ivonne Ortega Pacheco met with a representative from the Inter-American Development Bank to probe whether the Latin American financing institution would be willing to help get her bullet train to Chichen Itza project out of the station.

Gov. Ortega Pacheco has proposed constructing a high-speed train from Merida to Chichen Itza. Last week she met with Lawrence Harrington of the IDB seeking money to finance feasibility studies of the project. Harrington told the Diario de Yucatan after the meeting that no decision was reached, other than the IDB would work closely with the governor and within two months would announce decisions on specific projects. One of those would be the high-speed train.

IDB, which finances projects in Latin America, gets its capital from the United States, Europe, Japan and the Latin American countries it supports. It specializes in economic development projects, of which the high-speed train qualifies. Harrington said the IDB has supported other similar railroad projects that are linked to tourism.

The governor approached Bombardier, a Canadian company that builds high-speed trains, about the project. Bombardier estimates the project will cost $1.7 billion Canadian.

Gov. Ortega Pacheco wants to position Merida as the entrance to the Maya world. Currently most visitors to Chichen Itza arrive by tour bus from Cancun and elsewhere in Quintana Roo. A high-speed train, combined with a transportation infrastructure to other points, such as Uxmal, would stimulate tourism to the White City.

Previously: Merida Seeks to be Doorway to Chichen Itza

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Chichen Itza’s El Castillo Rises over California

September 14th, 2007 by ejalbright

If you happen to be in Santa Ana, in Orange County, California, head over the Spurgeon Street. Chichen Itza’s El Castillo will be there (a 17-foot high model, anyway), all part of Fiestas Patrias del Condado de Orange (Celebration of Mother Countries of Orange County), a Latin American festival held this weekend.

September is the month many Latin American countries, including Mexico, celebrate their independence. Orange County every years holds a celebration in honor of the Latin American peoples who live there.

Spurgeon Street will be transformed into a Maya world, according to festival organizers. This was done in recognition of El Castillo being named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. The giant model of the pyramid will be on display between 3d and 4th streets.

The festival runs Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 8 p.m. (to 10 p.m. on Saturday), from French Street to Main Street, and bounded by 3d and 4th streets.

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