Curator Justin Jennings fills us in on ROMtravel Maya journey

Posted: February 2, 2012 - 14:25 , by royal
From the Field, World Culture, History, Travel, Research | Comments () | Comment

Submitted by Justin Jennings, Curator, Department of World Cultures.  Follow his Maya adventures  with ROMTravel.

Chichicastenango - a mouthful for the non Maya speaker, but one of the most beautiful towns in the highlands of Guatemala.

Image of white Church

Church of Santo Tomás

The ROM's Maya tour was just in Chichicastenango, often called ”Chichi” for short, to visit the weekly market.  It is a colourful whirl of activity as people hawk everything from bananas (I tried three kinds) to shawls and water jugs.  The most amazing moment for me, though, was the Church of Saint Thomas– a white stucco building that was first erected soon after the Spanish Conquest.  It may have been the place where one of the most famous documents was hidden behind the altar — the Popol Vuh, or Book of the People.  The book tells the story of the local Maya group from creation to just before the Spanish Conquest, and this is where we learn, among many other stories, about the famous Hero Twins who played the Gods of Death in a ballgame to rescue their father.

Awesome stuff, and much more to come!