An approach to its Cultures and Ethnic Groups-Part Two

GUATEMALA 4-24
An Approach to its Cultures and Ethnic Groups
Social Sciences Essay in 6 Sections
By Darío Morán
http://galeriadecultura.hi5.com
Continuation Section 1 Introduction

…known as ethnic groups…
Most of them live in the west highlands of Guatemala though some live in other regions, all Maya descendance ethnic groups work in agriculture, most of the fertile land is cultivated by Maya farmers.
But it is important to mention that the K´iché Maya and the Cackchiquel Maya groups besides working as farmers are also present in all market places in the whole country working on the second activity of their ancestors : trade.

Religious Maya leaders are also rescuing the basis of their ancient religion and studying and publishing two Mayan calendars one of the tasks in which they are involved in their rescue. Time for the Maya was part of their religion,being watchers of natural phenomenae they had to control the time and know how to manage it in order to live a syncronized life with Nature changes.

Actually only two calendars are known but their ancestors developed more than ten.
They measure and distributed time as whole in many periods, for they daily lives they count the time of human and animal existence using their Haab or Ab Sun calendar year which consists of 18 months of 20 days each =360 days to which they added 5 more days for meditation and profound rituals performed to call the protection and energies from their gods,deities and protector spirits of animals, all this, to control strong and not benign charges these days bring, people of some groups specially the K´ekchí Maya call these 5 days period the Guayeb or Guayep.

They combine the Haab with their moon calendar year the Tzolkín or Cholquij which is formed by 13 months of 20 days each to make a complete moon year of 260 days.

When they reach the day 260th new Ajkijab (Shamans) are ordained and together start a new agricultural cycle which also represents the beginning and the end of a new year, the day 260th becomes an important festivity for all Maya called the WAJXAQIB BATZ or the EIGHT MONKEY festivity which is then connected with the symbol of the cotton thread, the same cotton thread, sometimes agave, which holds the flying kites which reach heavens after crossing the skies.

Heaven, Humankind and the Underworld are the three stages of the Maya Religion. In Santiago and Sumpango Satepequez municipalities, both of them Cackchiquel Maya ;giant kites made of China paper are flown during All Saints day to send messages to the souls of their departed relatives, to their gods and deities and to complete the connection of the three stages. Some actual kites are decorated with sacred motif including the Tzolkin calendar…will continue

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