I love gloating little news squibs like this:
GUATEMALA CITY - Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological site to eliminate "bad spirits" after President Bush visits next week, an official with close ties to the group said Thursday. "That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and their culture," Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders.That's a classic bit of blather served up by the guileful for the clueless.
The takeaway is that it would be an 'affront' and somehow 'unclean' for the President of the United States to place his feet on the "sacred lands" of the Maya; that to do so would somehow imbue such sites with "bad spirits."
Oh really? Let's review....
Before we all launch into another round of post-modern reverential drool over Native Mesoamerican cultures of yesteryear, let's review the "spiritual" record of the Mayan "culture," one that peaked about 1,100 years ago and has yet to recover from the muck of its "Golden Age."
In this case, the site that Bush is scheduled to visit is Iximche. The spiritual activities there when it was a Mayan cultural center and disco parlor included:
"After extraction of the heart, which was offered to the idol, the heads were put on poles on a special altar dedicated to this purpose, where they remained for some time, after which they were buried. The bodies of the sacrificed were cooked and eaten as sanctified flesh (Guillemin, 1969:27; 1977:258). Aspects of this religious complex show up in the human remains excavated at Iximche, the Kaqchikel Maya capital."The place looks almost sylvan now:
Then it'll be an hour or so of chanting and waving some smudge sticks around in the breeze for the cameras that show up to record the "Boosh Purification." Then Juan Tiney will give good quote and haul his buns off to cash the latest check from the NGO and take a pull of the pulque. And then all will be quite in the night that settles over the "purified" ruins of Iximche. It will be so quiet you could almost hear the cries and screams of the children who were decapitated in the pure Mayan way.
Oh, didn't I mention that the Noble Ancient Mayan's especially valued children when it came to human sacrifice? They did. It seemed kids made it a better ritual when the innocent were being hacked up, and better still when their suffering before being slaughtered was audible. More stimulating, one would imagine. Hotter soundtrack. The menu was something like this:
"Human sacrifice was perpetrated on prisoners, slaves, and particularly children, with orphans and illegitimate children specially purchased for the occasion. Priests were assisted in human sacrifices by four older men who were known as chacs, in honour of the Rain God, Chac. These men would hold the arms and legs of a sacrificial victim while the chest was opened up by another individual called a nacom."The Mayans, inheritors of a great and noble culture. I sort of hope they get into purifying the site of their oh-so-noble ancestors at Iximche on a daily basis. Maybe Juan Tiney could get a job there as spiritual janitor. That way he'd have a chance of doing something useful for his people for a change. It should be clean in about, oh, another 1,100 years.