|Game of life. The "Pok ta Pok" ceremonial Mayan Ball game|
(Photo ©Chico Sánchez-All Rights Reserved)
Mayan ball player José de Jesús Manrique Esquivel, who organised this first World Cup of its kind, says he wants to recuperate the spirit of his ancestors and motivate young Mayans to recognise the greatness of their culture.
Pok ta Pok is one of the most important rituals from Mesoamerican culture. The sacred ¨Popol Vuh,¨ or ¨Book of the Community¨ written around 1550 by the Mayan Quiche people in today´s Guatemala, describes the game as a representation of Divine Mayan Twins defeating the ¨Ajawab,¨ God of the underworld.
The Mayan ball game was popular across Mesoamerica and is played with one´s hips or arms. Different regions play by different rules. The goal is to shoot the ball through a ring on the wall, which ends the game.
The ball, made from a rubber tree, represents the movements of the sun and other stars, and can weigh anywhere between half a kilogram and four kilograms.
Pok ta Pok is one of several varieties of the Mesoamerican ballgame, a ceremonial game played since 1,400 B.C. by the pre-Columbian natives from this ancient civilisation. At least 1,500 ball courts have been found in the Mesoamerica, which is today´s southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador y Belice, western Honduras, Nicaragua y Costa Rica.
“Ek Balam”, Yo Creek, Belize
San Juan Comalapa, Chimaltenango, Guatemala
Dirección General de Educación Física, Guatemala
“Pucxical Keej”, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, México
Chapab de las Flores, Yucatán, México
José de Jesús Manrique Esquivel
José Guadalupe Tecam
Mayan Songs and Prayers
Lorenzo Moisés Díaz Alcocer
Song: Ru q´ojom ya´(Water Music song)
Played by: Ajpop Tijax & Josué Cristal
From Chimaltenango, Guatemala
Prehispanic band, Chapab, Yucatán, México
Yaxchilán, Chiapas, México
Toniná, Chiapas, México
Cobá, Quintana Roo, México
Chapab, Yucatán, México
Ek Balam, Yucatán, México
Chichén Itzá, Pisté, Tinum, Yucatán, México
Grutas Balankanché, Tinum, Yucatán México
Tepetlixpa Seed Bank, México State, México
Museo Nacional de Antropología de México
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