Friday, March 13, 2009

Chichen Itza and beyond

At the base of the Temple of the Warriors there is a rectangular column decorated with carvings of people or gods, as well as animals and serpents. There is a lot of discussion as to who was responsible for the carvings, the Mayans? the Toltecs? another culture completely? The carvings show figures that aren't known to the area.

Another ruin in the complex that isn't completely understood.

Me at the base of the Temple of Warriors. The statues at the top represent the 'tail of Kukulan' and the bird Quetzalcoatl. The main temple in Chichen Itza is dedicated to Kukulan, the serpent god. One of the most incredible things that you can participate in is clapping your hands while facing the temple. The echo of your hands clapping sounds like a bird chirping. The echo bouncing off the Temple of the Warriors sounds like a rattle, a snake's rattle. So here is the question: how? A bronze age techology, using limestone, arranged in such a way that the echoes sound like a bird and a snake, which is the sound of the Mayan gods. We can't do that today.

Okay, enough of temples. Leaving the ruins behind we got lunch at a local family restaurant. As part of our lunch, we got entertainment! A local group performed folk dances while the men played various intruments. The dances includes balancing beer bottles on their heads while they danced, lots of hand clapping and drumming.

The men, dressed in white, played for the dancers, then played when we left the restaurant. You felt very special when you left.

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