In San Cristobal, we have learned so much about the various indigeneous groups of the Maya. There are nine groups & languages here in the highlands of Chiapas. We visited a veterinarian, Sergio Castro, who shared with us his knowledge and display of Mayan artifacts. He has authentic traditional dress of each indigeneous group. Most importantly, he works to treats local women, men and children who suffer from severe burns from campfires in the homes. He supports his work through self-supported resources. He should be a saint!
The Maya Museum of Medicine taught us about the different natural plants and trees used for treating anything that ails you! Aloe, of course, but leaves for diarrhea, hypertension, stuffy ears, coughs, etc. Mayans believe that the body is connected to the soul. There are cleansing rituals connected with prayer to do away with evil spirits. Eggs, herbs & Coka Cola are used to purify! I'll just stick with the prayer!
The Mayan cross is seen everything! The North end represents the universe (celestial); the south--the underworld, and east to west is the Sun God. It may be represented with different symbols, but to me, it is still the cross. We all answer to a higher power!
We visited a church today (Sunday) in the Chamula community. The Church and the Market are adjacent to each other. No photos could be taken in the church, but let me try to describe this:
We entered to weave our way through the crowds of people in different groups, kneeling on the floor with candles (altars), coke bottles, praying; others, waiting with babies in white to be baptized, tables of candles, images of saints (John the Baptist) in glass cases, a mariachi band playing and singing and fresh flowers around the front of the church, incense and smoke burning all around. If you had on a skirt, you could possibly catch a blaze by cancles on teh floor, so you have to be careful! I prayed!
The market is another crowded scene! the Chamula dress in sheep-skin huipils (men) and sheep-skin skirts (women & children). The vendors sell piles of wool, black & ivory color; cabbages, potatoes, household products, fruits--various types;other vegetables, pork rinds, used clothes and shoes, and let me not forget, roasted ants! I did not taste that!