Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mexico - Chamula Cemetary

Chamula Cemetary
Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster.

This is the cemetary at Chamula, up the mountain from San Cristobal. Chip took us down the road that goes by here, and explained that these graves aren't new-- they're "refreshed" frequently. They put new dirt on top, and often put more crosses in front of the old.

The pine boughs are very significant- the Mayan god has a name that sounds very familiar to their name for pine trees. They put pine needles on the graves, around them, and even on the floor of the church. The pine trees closest to Chamula look like pompoms - any branches near the ground have been harvested.

When you look at the larger resolution of the picture, it looks like people have littered the cemetary, but it's very different than that. People come to the cemetary to talk with their ancestors, much like the Mayan tradition, and they leave tokens. They drink sodas (or alcohol), and leave some. Sometimes it's just the bottle cap. I wondered if they left tokens for their ancestors, or to show their neighbors that they had.


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