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Layer by Layer: A Mexico City Culinary Adventure

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For this reason, the Maya believed that the heavenly bodies needed human help, which was provided through sacred rituals such as self-mutilation, torture, and human sacrifice. To the Maya, offering this help was simply the price to be paid for the continued survival of the universe. Death from such rituals was a privilege, and conferred immortality on those who died, or who offered themselves as victims. The repeating cycles of creation and destruction as described in Maya mythology were a reminder of the consequences if humans neglected their obligations to the gods.

Humans had an inherent responsibility to the gods who made humanity's continued existence possible. According to the Maya sacred calendar, each year period signalled the renewed possibility of the destruction of the world. This was seen as a frightening time when the gods and other forces of creation and chaos would do battle in the world of mortals, determining the fate of all earthly creatures. The planet Venus was particularly significant to the Maya; the important god Quetzalcoatl, for example, is identified with Venus.

The Dresden Codex , one of four surviving Maya chronicles, contains an extensive tabulation of the appearances of Venus, and was used to predict the future. The Maya also went to war by the sky, again triggered by the planet Venus.

Palenque Tourist Guide đŸ‡²đŸ‡½ Mexico Video Guide - Travel & Discover

Venus war regalia is seen on stelae and other carvings, and raids and captures were timed by appearances of Venus, particularly as an evening "star". Warfare related to the movements of Venus was, in fact, well established throughout Mesoamerica. Maya calendars, mythology and astrology were integrated into a single system of belief. The Maya observed the sky and calendars to predict solar and lunar eclipses, the cycles of the planet Venus, and the movements of the constellations.

These occurrences were far more than mere mechanical movements of the heavens, and were believed to be the activities of gods replaying mythical events from the time of Creation. Calendar priests still exist in Maya regions today, and keep the day Sacred Round count for divination and other shamanistic activity. Many of the components of this belief system originated in the sky, but were manipulated on Earth by astronomer-priests who applied the sacred structure of the cosmos to affairs on Earth.

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Meet the Artist. Angel Ceron Ceramic replicas and figurines 5. View full collection. Angel began a long study of Mexico's pre-Hispanic cultures and learned the Nahuatl language spoken in ancient Mesoamerica.

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First the proper materials must be acquired. The unique characteristics of this yellow clay make it ideal for molding. It dries evenly and is especially hard, thus it is resistant to impact and can withstand very high temperatures. The clay is ground in a mill, deposited in tubs of water and stirred constantly until it acquires a homogenous consistency.

This step can take hours. Left to stand for three days, it remains a thick liquid. The blocks are divided into smaller portions and dried in the sun for several hours. Only a qualified artisan can determine when the clay has reached the proper consistency. Then it is kneaded by hand, much as one kneads bread dough, and again it is the skilled artisan who can tell when it is ready to be worked. The details are created totally by hand and some figures are so complicated that they are absolutely unique or part of limited editions.

Each piece is modeled by hand and the artisan's talent is a crucial factor. Once shaped, the sculptures dry as long as needed, some for as long as a week. View full collection. Angel began a long study of Mexico's pre-Hispanic cultures and learned the Nahuatl language spoken in ancient Mesoamerica.

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First the proper materials must be acquired. The unique characteristics of this yellow clay make it ideal for molding. It dries evenly and is especially hard, thus it is resistant to impact and can withstand very high temperatures. The clay is ground in a mill, deposited in tubs of water and stirred constantly until it acquires a homogenous consistency. This step can take hours. Left to stand for three days, it remains a thick liquid. The blocks are divided into smaller portions and dried in the sun for several hours.

Only a qualified artisan can determine when the clay has reached the proper consistency. Then it is kneaded by hand, much as one kneads bread dough, and again it is the skilled artisan who can tell when it is ready to be worked. The details are created totally by hand and some figures are so complicated that they are absolutely unique or part of limited editions. Each piece is modeled by hand and the artisan's talent is a crucial factor.

Once shaped, the sculptures dry as long as needed, some for as long as a week.

Things to know when you meet a Maya High Priest | Royal Ontario Museum

They must dry in the shade because the clay might split and crack in the sun. After firing, the pieces need to stand for six hours, cooling gradually. Finally, they receive a "bath" of earth to give them their unique antique effect, which features slight cracks.