In conversation with an old Inca woman in the Sacred Valley of Peru, she asked me where I came from. I told him that I lived in the Yucatan Peninsula, in Mayan land, and he answered: "land of corn, like mine, sister land."
That day, before the response of the old lady, I seemed to begin to understand the great importance that for many American peoples had and still has the corn.
I write with the humility of a foreigner outside the Mayan culture, trying to get a little closer to her, knowing how complicated it is to talk about what is not her own.
MAYAN CIVILIZATION AND MAIZE
The fascinating Mayan civilization It covered part of El Salvador, western Honduras, almost all of Guatemala, Belize and the areas of Tabasco, Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas in Mexico. In this vast territory, the corn remains the base of your food: Corn tortillas are still made by hand in many villages, in the traditional way.
El corn is present in your cosmogony and in their beliefs, in their way of understanding the world. It is an inherent part of Mayan life: in its ceremonies, in its daily food, in the milpa, in its landscapes, in its medicines. According to Mayan beliefs, man comes from corn, with his mass was created to Mayan humanity. We could get to see them as fruits of Mother Earth, they are part of it.
El maya he feels blessed in his daily life by the corn, it is what feeds them, and they bless him. They give you treatment God, so recognized is his veneration of corn. They adore him daily with some rituals, thoughts or representations, as simple as that.
In the milpas the different corn color types: white, yellow, red and black, facing the direction that relates each color to each of the cardinal points, according to the Popol Vuh, a book that includes the creation of the Mayan world. The ancestral traditions of the Maya are still valid today in the sowing and harvesting ceremonies.
Su calendar it revolves around the times of the cultivation of corn, there is nothing more important. Speaking with the people of this land, you are named the days of the solstice as the beginning of the sowing or end of the harvest. The corn It's the little one sun that illuminates them on Earth, that's why they constantly rotate around him.
YUM KAAX, CORN DIVINITY
To Yum Kaax, one of the names to name the god of corn, the human being was his most fervent ally on Earth, since with his rites they helped attract rain and drove away plagues. Yum Kaax He was a young, beautiful and inexperienced god with a great responsibility for his lack of experience, but thanks to the help he obtained by joining forces with the human being and other deities such as the rain, his role was greater.
That popular knowledge in the Mayan culture, it creates the consciousness of knowing that they are part of a whole to which they are united.
The importance of the corn in the life of the Maya, that at the time of the Haciendas, where the majority of workers were of Mayan origin, they gave them land for milpas within the haciendas with the purpose that they were sustained and not to break the tradition that the man felt with Your family as the food supplier.
La milpa for the Maya it is still a space where they meet to talk, have a drink or gossip. It is the meeting place, as well as parks, squares or basements are in cities and towns.
The trip helps us to continue knowing our vast humanity and enjoy the healthy curiosity that causes to know other cultures.
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