Although it’s referred to as a “civilization” or even “empire,” it was really a collection of city-states that had allies and enemies, and fought to expand into another’s territory leading to the prominence of one city and the decline of another. It was only after Spanish Conquistador Francisco de Montejo returned to the Yucatan after being expelled in 1535, recruited Maya from Campeche and Champton and built a large Indio-Spanish army, was he able to conquered the peninsula. December 21, 2012 was the date was regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mayan Long Count calendar. The interpretations of its significance varies widely from signaling the end of the world to the dawning of a New Age. Well, the New Agers were in attendance at Chichen-itza that day:
There were more than a couple of television crews there doing reports. And of course there were vendors: It was a truly surreal day spent wandering among the Mayan ruins and beautiful people chanting, dancing, smiling. You cannot imagine a place with better energy. Groups morphed from dancing to kneeling. Circles started small and grew large. Through an ancient ball court and around the Platform of Venus. It was a great mixture of energies.
It was hard to tell if there were borders to the Mercado Lucas de Galvez. There were stores, street vendors, small markets, huge buildings and even mind-boggling warrens. Everything was for sale from piñatas to pineapples. Marie bought dresses to paint in and we sat on small stools by a stall and ate big square tamales baked in banana leaves right there in the little stall. We even had a floor show. And all the ambiance you could want.
|Jaguars by Alberto Bautista Gomez, 2001-02|
Scenes on Calle 60:
Happened upon a show along the way:
|Los pajaros de la flor de mayo by Manuel Lizama|
|Piramide de ladivino by Luis Falcon|
|La leyenda del enano de Uxmal by Manuel Lizama|
|Tulum y guacamayas by Luis Falcon|
Museo de Arte Contempráneo de Yucatán better known as MACAY was down Calle 60, right across from the Plaza Grande. We began with an exhibit of stainless in the covered walkway:
|Danza del Viento by Jonatan Solano|
|Une Extraviada en Tultepec by Won Lee|
|Con Los Pies en la Tierra by Mar Hernandez, 2012|
|Serpientes Despues de a Lluvia by Gabriel Ramirez Aznar|
|Pared Azul by Javier Cruz, 1991|
On the streets of Merida:
|Sociedad by Carlos Lores, 1989-90|
Inside the Yucatan Convention Center Siglio XXI, we found a sort of New Age market which we just glimpsed at so we could grab seats outside to see the closing performances of the almost month-long Festival of Mayan Culture. First there was a chorus of children supposedly 300 but more likely 125 singing several songs under several directors. They were very cute.
Then newly-elected Governor Rolando Zapata Bello was invited as well as a bunch of others we had no clue about to proclaim this the Night of the Maya:
Then we drove further south to Kabal, connected to Uxmal by an 18 km raised pedestrian walkway.
|Palace of the Masks|
Continuing on to Sayil:
|View from the top.|