Symbolism and ritual practices related to hunting in Maya communities from central Quintana Roo, Mexico

Periodo de realización: 1900/01/01 al 2015/06/01

Tipo: Artículo científico

Lugar(es) de estudio: X-Pichil, Q.R., México
Resumen: "Background: Some Mayan peasant-hunters across the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico still carry out a hunting ritual –Loojil Ts’oon, Loj Ts’oon or Carbine Ceremony– in which they renew the divine permission for hunting in order to continue deserving the gift of prey after a period of hunt. Thus they are granted access to game by the gods and the Lords of the Animals, particularly the spirit/evil-wind call. This paper focuses on the acts within the Loojil Ts’oon –which is performed in the X-Pichil community and surrounding area– that make it unique among the hunting rituals performed in other parts of the Peninsula. Methods: The Loojil Ts’oon hunting ritual was observed and registered in audiovisual format in two different occasions in X-Pichil (Friday 04/29/2011 and Friday 07/29/2011). Afterwards, we delivered digital videodisks (DVD) to hunters and their families and to the j-men (the magic-medic-ritual specialist) who participated in these ceremonies. This delivery produced confidence among participants to talk more openly and in-depth about the Loojil Ts’oon, revealing symbolic, psychological, and material details previously unknown to outsiders. Qualitative information was obtained through the ethnographic method using techniques such as participant observation and guided tours. Semi-structured interviews were carried out to obtain complementary information. Results and discussion: On one hand, we describe the preparation and cleansing of the “Sip soup”, as well as its parading and distribution –delivery to the spirit/evil-wind Sip– on the streets of the community (highlingting the role of the rooster as a counter-gift). On the other hand, the cleansing of the jaws (of deer: Odocoileus virginianus, Mazama spp."

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