Arrival: Guatemala City

I am finally out of the madness inducing continent of Antarctica, and I am never going back, even when all the ice there melts (something supposed to happen any day now).

I am at present in Guatemala City, Guatemala, to attend the unveiling of plans for the new Maya University, or Mayab' Nimatijob'al in the Quiche language, an institution of higher learning to be based on "the culture of Mayans". Most are unfamiliar with the culture of the Mayans, which is unfortunate, as it had many exciting qualities:

Human sacrifice was perpetrated on prisoners, slaves, and particularly children, with orphans and illegitimate children specially purchased for the occasion...Priests were assisted in human sacrifices by four older men who were known as chacs, in honour of the Rain God, Chac. These men would hold the arms and legs of a sacrificial victim while the chest was opened up by another individual called a nacom.

For fun on Mayan holidays:

A king used an obsidian knife or a stingray spine to cut his penis, allowing the blood to fall onto paper held in a bowl. Kings' wives also took part in this ritual by pulling a rope with thorns attached through their tongues.

Which was rather sporting of them if you ask me. Try and convince your horrible democratically elected local congressman (who in theory is a servant of the people) to entertain you in such a manner and see where it gets you.

I think with proper marketing Maya U. could attract undergraduates grown bored with the mundane debauches of American universities (it's going to need a fight song, what rhymes with Mayab' Nimatijob'al?). Given the choice between four years of fraternity keg parties and four years of that business with the stingray etc. I'm confident that many sullen, heavily pierced, black clad, death-metal/goth type of teens would opt for the latter. And unlike American colleges which fail to teach much of anything useful, students at Maya U. will learn how to build condominiums just like the Mayans did: out of large rocks.

The elaborate plans for the new university were presented in part by Nobel Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu, so it is possible the whole thing is a hoax.

Comments

  1. Ummm...

    "Kings' wives also took part in this ritual by pulling a rope with thorns attached through their tongues."

    Maybe I'm being obtuse, but I'm having a terrible time picturing just exactly what is being described here.

    Do these eminent ladies have "a rope with thorns attached" which they are "pulling...through their tongues?" (in which case it must be a very small rope and/or they must have very large tongues)...or do they have "thorns attached through their tongues" with which they are "pulling a rope?" (which is only very slightly easier to imagine).

    I think I might like to arrange for a reenactment, but it seems important to get this detail straight before beginning.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting question, I reccomend contacting Maya U.'s Provost for an answer.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Will do. If I receive an enlightening answer, I'll forward it, along with an invitation to the proposed reenactment.

    I don't think that I want to try that king's penis stuff, though.

    There are limits.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

One is an esoteric Straussian, the other went to Yale