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All the Gods of the World: Modern Maya Agricultural and Rain Ritual in Yucatan, Mexico

Author(s): Bradley Russell

Year: 2017

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The modern residents of Yucatán, Mexico blend traditional Maya beliefs in a pantheon of ancient gods and other supernatural forces with more recent Catholic traditions flowing from centuries of Spanish colonial influence. This paper compares and contrasts modern rituals from the Yucatec Maya village of Telchaquillo, Yucatán. Each rite was associated with a local cenote, limestone sinkholes that along with caves serve as accesses to the Maya underworld and homes to the gods themselves. My research suggests considerable cultural continuity with the ancient residents of the Postclassic Maya center of Mayapán where cenotes were regularly paired with important ritual architecture and sometimes contain human remains and other indications of ritual activity. The ceremonies documented in this paper provide information about Maya cosmology, gender roles and long held beliefs about cenotes and agricultural fertility.

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All the Gods of the World: Modern Maya Agricultural and Rain Ritual in Yucatan, Mexico. Bradley Russell. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430125)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16833

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America