What Does It Mean? Maya?

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What does it mean to be Maya? This is a question that has had lots of contention and has been hotly debated between anthropologist and many professionals. Some think that identity is subjective and what is Maya is only to be determined by the Maya people, but there is contention among them as well. Does a Maya person have to hold the same traditions that their ancestors once had and maintain the same rituals and way of life, to be considered Maya? Many ignorantly lament the loss of the Maya culture and tradition modernity has influenced it, but there is not loss; it has simply shifted as it historically has in the past. The Maya indigeneity has adapted through: indio reducido in colonial Yucatan, the Pan-Mayan movement and the through the people of Xcacal Guardia. To understand the “indio reducido” in colonial Yucatan it is critical to analyze the emergence of reduccion. The conquista pacifica led the to the indio reducido in colonial Yucatan, The missionaries congregated the Maya into artificial towns and they set up a hierarchical order of both secular and religious government. The new structure took over the traditional halach uinich and it was replaced by the batabville. The aim of the conquista was to remake the Maya people, to change the people from inside out, but in order to do that the missionaries had to be able to communicate to the Maya people what they wanted them to understand and adopt, Catholicism. Thus, the missionaries remade the Maya language; they blended Maya and Spanish, but made it all seem as if it were Maya alone and this led to what became known as lengua-reducida. The reduccion of the Maya Language is seen in colonial Yucatan and it is a hallmark of the “indio reducio.” The reduccion sought to reorder Ma... ... middle of paper ... ...traditions remain. Maya culture is not being lost is simply adapts to the present environment and this has been seen over history. All in all, the definition seems the change due to the present context of the situation engulfing the people, but tradition prevails and is still maintained regardless of the changes pressure authenticity. Even when these changes seem to integrate themselves profoundly into Mayan culture, the people adapt to these changes, but the change is mutual and the people imprint their culture on the change as well, so the seam is lost and tradition continues. Therefore it is more of an adaptive change that the changing identity undergoes, because regardless of the circumstance there are parallels and ties that can be followed back to the most traditional of Mayan practices and rituals, but the people remain authentic and their culture is not lost.

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