Preserving the Mayan Oral Culture
“Death to the Maya is a journey that includes coming back home from the underworld to visit the living bringing them various gifts,” said the archaeologist, Jesus Guillermo Kantún Rivera, an expert in Maya hieroglyphic writing and images of Maya art, after his lecture at the School of Accounting and Administration of the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY).
The expert said that the Maya associated death with such expressions as “expiring the breath” or “entering the path” which meant starting the journey the souls undertake to the west to reach the Gods, and to return to this world and/or resurrect. Another way the Maya mention this is “entering the water” which translates to entering the underworld.
“When the ancestors return to visit the living, they can come in different forms: as easterly winds, in dreams to speak with us, and specifically in the Yucatan, for Hanal Pixan, they come to our tables where they eat with us or they come to us in the form of fruit trees,” Kantún Rivera said.