Print version ISSN 0185-1659
MORALES DAMIAN, Manuel Alberto. Territorio sagrado: cuerpo humano y naturaleza en el pensamiento maya. Cuicuilco [online]. 2010, vol.17, n.48, pp. 279-298. ISSN 0185-1659.
This paper studies Mayan attitudes towards environment according to three different kinds of testimonial sources: landscape representations in some sculptures, mural paintings and Prehispanic architecture; colonial manuscripts, specifically the Mayan Popol Vuh, the Books of Chilam Balam and the Ritual of the Bacabs; and contemporary ethnographic reports. It focuses on the way the human body was conceived as an essential part of the environment and considered a scale model of the cosmos. For the Mayas, the inhabited territory was a coherent totality where humans, animals, plants, stars, planets, geographic orientation and time, each played a specific roles, all of them interdependent, and nature so became a human centred organization. Human relationship with nature was religiously and morally framed since the world elements were seen as living entities as they were granted a heart and so possessed a holy essence. Humans coexisted with vegetal, animals, minerals and meteoric entities through a biological interchange that could be shaped in terms of specific myths and rites. For the Maya, body and nature were both part of a single territory, a sacred single one.
Keywords : Maya world view; religious believes; nature; human body.