Friday, March 13, 2015
Chiapas - The Tzotzil Village of Chamula
The cross is a very significant image in Chiapas. Not a Catholic cross but a native cross to earth, wind and fire. They are everywhere. As you can see in the photo above, each gravesite has a wooden cross. Always painted in a turquoise-green color.
To enter the church, which is no longer a Catholic church, one had to pay a fee to a tribal elder. Inside, it reminded me very much of the church in Chichicastenango, Guatemala which was hundreds of years old.
This church had an altar but not with adornment as we think of. Instead, Coca cola bottles, sacrificed chickens, were sitting by the railing. The floors were covered with pine needles and boughs so when you walked around the fragrance rose to envelope you. Quite a magical experience. Candles everywhere, on the floors, on the shelves along with large glass and wood boxes with statues insides sat helter skelter. Long wooden tables had many of the boxes sitting on them. There was a sort of aisle way but not with pews as we would think.
I had seen a cleansing while I was in Chichicastenango with a chicken, candles and water, but no such luck here. It was quite fascinating to me to see how people worship or celebrate their beliefs. If only I had spoken Tzotzil and could have asked questions!
Chamula and Zincantan, the next village we visited were two of my favorite places that I visited. However, it is kind of silly to say that because EVERYWHERE I was in Chiapas was my favorite, at the time I was there.
Tomorrow Zincantan, the village that you have to pay to enter! And well worth it.