Guidebook to the Underworld: Xibalba

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Myth Crafts

Thank you, Friar Ximénez.

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When the Spanish Conquistadors washed up on what we now call South America, they initiated one of the more thorough and widespread acts of cultural obliteration in recorded history.

Mind you, this is hardly unique. The Romans did the same to the Etruscans, and the English who settled/invaded Australia set up a similar program of cultural assimilation for the native inhabitants well into the 20th century, to mention but a few examples – there are countless others, sometimes in the name of religion, sometimes in the name of “progress” or civilization.

No matter what, indigenous cultures are typically victims to the erosion/wholesale eradication of their former ways of life and belief.

For the K’iche’ people of Guatemala, the story was no different. Heirs to the culture of the Maya, they were systematically Westernized. However, in the 1500’s, before the Spandiards arrived, they started to preserve their…

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