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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 2, June 2016

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Bruce Ross
Hampden, Maine, USA


Fading of Time and Culture

The classic Mayan archaeological site in Belize is reached by a hand-drawn ferry across the Mopan River. It is impressive because its tallest structure, a ritual site, was built on a high hill. Our Mayan guide told us that the small empty structure near its base was a kind of purification bath visited by royals or priests before climbing to the probable temple at its summit. Beyond this structure teams played a kind of soccer in which the captain of the winning team was beheaded and presumed to be transported to the Mayan heaven.

Xunantunitch
dry leaves falling into
the ball court

There weren't very many visitors today and the site was dominated by palpable silence. I meditated on the passage of history and the Mayan ball game itself. It was the dry season and the tree leaves had colored and were falling. All that was so meaningful to this old vital culture has now been lost to a vanishing past, as has happened before to other cultures and may well happen again. On the ferry back I stare into the water and continue to ponder such matters.

Xunantunich
yellow leaves drift down
the Mopan River

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