Traveling to the past with tradition
A legacy that goes beyond time
7 facts you didn’t know about the Sacred Mayan Journey
After 8 years, the Sacred Mayan Journey at Xcaret has turned into a tradition that transcends through different aspects of the community such as culture, sport and history.
The richness of this event has turned it into a tradition that makes us travel through time to live closely an ancient and magical costume of the Mayan civilization. Even with all that you might’ve heard about this event, there are a couple of fun facts that are essential to this important event.
See the 7 facts you probably didn’t know about the Sacred Mayan Journey.
1.- The investigation and research on the history, tradition and symbolical meaning that is used to recreate and share the Sacred Mayan Journey is done through advice and help of the state’s Institute of Anthropology and History and UNAM’s Center of Mayan Studies.
2.- The oars used by the oarsmen are made by hand in local Mayan communities. The fee given by the oarsmen for their oar is given in its totality to the artisans who make them.
3.- Daring to realize the great sea voyage involved a great risk for the Mayans; they saw the journey as a kind of personal transformation, and from the religious point of view, it was equivalent to a transition to the afterlife.
4.- The first habitants of the Yucatan Peninsula came from Tabasco. The Putun or Chontal Maya groups that came to the coast were the Itza, whom the archaeologist Eric S. Thompson called the Phoenicians of the New World. The Itza established trading colonies and sea routes from Tabasco to Belize and Honduras. They were a maritime culture and developed numerous coastal sites.
5. In the first crossing, the canoes were made from blow hatchet from pich and poppy trees and weighed 700 kg. Today, the canoes are made in Xplor out of fiberglass with a capacity for 10 people and weight about 350 to 400 kg. This makes the canoes lighter and more stable.
6.- Every color used in the Mayan culture has a different meaning, now this symbolism is represented in colors that each oarsmen carries on their face, body and clothing.
7.- The oarsmen live an intense physical and emotional 6-month preparation in which they learn and develop techniques to be able to do the Sacred Mayan Journey, a test that will reflect their mental and physical preparation.