Friday, December 21, 2012

Real Mayans don't buy all of the end-of-the-world bullshit



There may be no one left on Earth to say TGIF this week.

Some believe the world is coming to an end Friday -- on 12/21/12 -- which is when an important phase on the ancient calendar of the Mayan people terminates.

Mayans don't buy it.

At least the ones living in the city of Merida, Mexico, don't. Neither does anyone in the Mayan village of Yaxuna. They know the calendar their ancestors left them is about to absolve a key phase -- the end of an era and the heralding of a new one -- but they don't think we're all gonna die.

"It's an era. We are lucky to see how it ends," said wood carver Santos Esteban in Yaxuna, a sleepy village of fewer than 700 Mayans, located in a territory that once belonged to the ancient kingdom founded around 2000 B.C.

He feels it is a momentous occasion and is looking forward to the start of the new age. He is not afraid.
"Lots of people say it's the end of the world, but we don't believe that," he said.

People in his village will keep living much as they have, preferring hand-built, palm-thatch huts to concrete buildings and baking tortillas on an open flame.

Though 12/21/12 is a somewhat congruent date on the western calendar, the Mayan version enumerates the event in a different way.

The ancient people measured time in cycles called "baktuns" of 394 years each, and the winter solstice coming Friday marks the end of the 13th baktun. Some who study the calendar say the date for the end of the period is not Friday, but Sunday.

The Mayan calendar is based on the position of the heavenly bodies -- the sun, the moon and the stars -- and was meant to tell the Mayan people about agricultural and economic trends, said archeologist Alfredo Barrera.

The hubbub about a calamity occurring comes from a Mayan stone carving called monument 6, made in 700 A.D., which predicts a major event at the end of this baktun, Barrera said. But half of the broken tablet is missing, so one may only speculate on what the complete message may be.

From CNN

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