Author(s): Didierd Boremanse

Year: 2015


According to Lacandon worldview till the last century, the ruined buildings of Classic Maya culture, and the funerary caves found near small archaeological sites on the shores of lakes in the forest, were respectively the "houses" of celestial and terrestrial deities (who once lived on earth). From these shrines the ancestors of the Lacandon collected stone relics which they deposited at the bottom of their incense burners. A Lacandon censer is a clay pot with an anthropomorphic head modeled on its rim, to which offerings of food and drink were made. Each censer represented a specific deity, with whom the celebrant could communicate as the sacredness and healing power of the censer derived from the relics it contained. Some gods were irascible and vengeful. For the slightest offense they sent an illness or another misfortune to the wrongdoer, or to a member of his family. Through divination a man could learn which gods were upset, what fault had been committed, which deities consented to mediate and what payments they requested. In subsequent rituals the celebrant entreated the mediators to help curing the ailing person, and to bring their shares of offerings to the angry gods in order to appease them.

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Cite this Record

RELIGIOUS RITES OF THE LACANDON. Didierd Boremanse. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395114)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;