Saturday, July 19, 2008

My first Cha’a Chaak Ceremony

On Sunday, July 13 leaving the community of Tixbacab for Tuzik to watch a youth soccer championship, I noticed several men in on the edge of the road. I went back to where they had cut a small area out of the jungle and set up an altar for the Cha’a Chaak rain ceremony. In a pit where they had dug out the rich, red earth they were just finishing cooking several sets of large tortillas for offerings. I talked to some of the men about the ceremony since I had never witnessed one before, but I knew it was done more often in the traditional corn growing regions to the south as opposed to this northern cattle ranching area. One man told me that it had been four years since they had done it in Tixbacab and that it was a dying tradition. I told him I knew that they had not done it in the other communities where I spent most of my time and he said that it is because so many people don’t believe in it anymore. This ceremony is significant because it is one of the very few that has not mixed to the same degree with Catholicism as most other ceremonies, so it remains more traditionally Maya. I returned to Tuzik, and then on to Xualtez under darkening skies that a few minutes later opened up for a three hour downpour. Click below for a few photos.
Cha'a Chaak



Betsy said...

What a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness that. Very few gringos will ever see it.

quebin said...

Awesome convergence that you were able to come upon one in progress.

Todd said...

You will never belive what happened to me again today...I ran into yet another ceremony! Another entry coming soon!