Monday, June 6, 2011

Tales of Chiapas - Part 3 - The Mayan Medicine Museum June 2011

One of the first places we investigated
was the Mayan Medicine Museum,
a short hike up from Bela's and the Templo Santo Domingo on 
Avenida General Utrilla,
past the Mercado Municipal José Castillo, through a small barrio,
and on the left a little before reaching the Perriferico.

 The museum is a fascinating place
surrounded by gardens of culinary
and medicinal herbs, inside are wax-figure exhibits,
demos, videos, informative signs,
live healings taking place,
and a very helpful and informative staff.

While the figures are wax, they look real enough
to give you a start as you wind you way
through the dimly lit museum.

The part I liked the best was a video
of a Mayan women giving birth.

They do not undress or lie down,
instead they kneel while leaning on their husband
who sits or kneels in front of them.
In back is the midwife who helps deliver (or catch) the child
and attend to it when it emerges from under the mother's skirt.

Due to the presence of other visitors in the museum
and the Indigenous Shaman conducting healings,
I respected the wishes of the Mayans
and did not take their photos.
These photos are internet photos,
thank you to Trip Advisor, Travel Pod,
and the MMM.
A word to the wise:
Cameras are forbidden in Mayan rituals,
in their churches, and face to face (without permission).
It is life-threatening to take out a camera and start shooting
during any of the above mentioned situations without permission.

The Maya are very superstitious and believe their souls
can be stolen with a picture or it creates an evil eye
producing long streaks of bad luck.
They don't even like to make eye contact with strangers.
One woman told us cameras them feel like monkeys
in a cage.

1 comment:

  1. Being in Chiapas seems like co-existing simultaneously in another era!