Tabi has an open cenote in the center of the village. While looking at it a man was eager to tell me the history of his community. Doña Felipa knows several herbalists and healers that live there and we went to visit one, Don Florencio, who she had not seen since he suffered a stroke. I realized that it was 85 year-old Don Florencio who had done a ritualistic cleansing of me 8 years ago. He is regaining some strength on his right side and has begun to work again as a healer on occasion. The rain clouds started to build as we headed farther east to the town of Yaxcaba. There Doña Felipa introduced me to Don Juan Bautista, the healer in charge of the local Center for the Development of Traditional Indigenous Medicine. As a strong storm passed over us and his gardens of medicinal plants, he told me about his work and how he is teaching his grandchildren how to also heal with herbs. The rain passed and Doña Felipa and I left going back toward Tabi. We passed through the community and on the western edge we noticed women participating in a novena at a stone shrine adorned with wooden crosses, candles and flowers. Their singing and praying coincided with the Cha’a Chaak ceremony being held by the men a few hundred meters down the road where I was invited to take some pictures. There was a big difference in this ceremony and that of Tixbacab about which I posted a few weeks ago. The altar was much more traditional as you will be able to see in the album below made completely of materials from the forest. The same rain that passed over Yaxcaba, also passed over Tabi. I was told that this was a good sign because the rains have not been as consistent as they usually are prompting the people of Tabi to come together and hold the ceremony again after three years of not doing it. Doña Felipa and I left Tabi and visited her new grandson in Sotuta, one of 35 grandchildren. I took her back to Tibolon, and then arrived to Merida late after a day filled with visiting new communities, meeting new people and having experiences that I will never forget.
|Sotuta, Tabi, Yaxcaba|