Maya Pilgrimage to Ritual Landscapes: Insights from by Joel W. Palka

By Joel W. Palka

Pilgrimage to ritually major locations is part of everyday life within the Maya international. those trips contain very important social and useful issues, resembling the upkeep of nutrition resources and global order. widespread pilgrimages to ceremonial hills to pay choices to non secular forces for sturdy harvests, for example, are only as worthwhile for farming as planting fields. Why has Maya pilgrimage to ritual landscapes prevailed from the far-off earlier and why are trips to ritual landscapes very important in Maya faith? How can archaeologists realize Maya pilgrimage, and the way does it evaluate to related habit at ritual landscapes around the globe? the writer addresses those questions and others via cross-cultural comparisons, archaeological information, and ethnographic insights.

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Pilgrims may also achieve communion with spiritual Pilgrimage, Ritual Landscapes, and Material Culture 41 forces through mimesis, or the imitation of divine events, beings, or actions. Gestures, movements through a place, and the manipulation of objects to mimic divine beings and their behaviors are common at pilgrimage shrines. Pilgrimage alters consciousness, which brings people closer to spiritual realms, their religion, themselves, fellow pilgrims, and their communities. Terms related to pilgrimage suggest that past European and New World societies perceived these journeys differently than do contemporary Westerners.

For instance, Mesoamerican elites, including male religious specialists, visit pilgrimage shrines in their roles as mediators with spiritual forces to preserve order and economic prosperity. The shrines, too, are associated with particular communities, group identities, and boundaries, and a chronological perspective shows that past ritual activity picked up at pilgrimage shrines during episodes of social or environmental difficulties, such as warfare and droughts. The proliferation of ceremonial sites in Mesoamerica and visits to them have had significant social, political, religious, and economic 14 Chapter One benefits.

Chichel, and Bubau (Houwald 1979:89, 419). The connections between these sites and ritual landscapes are treated later on. Each Ch’olti’-Lacandon site (Vos 1988a:165, 188) was governed by a local noble who had elite followers, including a head priest and several lesser elites (Hellmuth 1972:186–89). The paramount chief was also the main religious specialist (Houwald 1979:89). Names of the nobles included Cabnal (Kabnal), Quin (K’in), Chichel, Tzactzi (Sak Tz’i), Chancut, and Polom (Houwald 1979:331, 352–53), and these may have been connected to important placenames.

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