Mayan Dance had a very profound meaning with the ancient Mayas, as it was considered as the bridge between this world and the underworld called Xibalba. It was a sacred ritual, which you will find represented on many vessels, murals and steles..
In the ceremonial Maya Dance kings and nobles dressed up like jaguars, birds or some abstract being , covering their faces with masks, imitating and venerating all living creatures of their surroundings, which are as connected to us humans, as we all are connected one to another.
Dancing put them into a trance, giving them access to a higher level of conscience. In this altered state of mind, the performers could go to the underworld and return, releasing the souls from the grasp of the lords of death in the Xibalba and perceive the truth about themselves as being living spirits capable of creating anything with love, as love is life.
This sacred ritual has its origin in the Mayan book of Creation called the Popol Vuh. It tells us like the Hero Twins were killed and revived in the underworld, enchanting the lords of the Xibalba with their dancing and magic, and bringing everything back to life. The lords of death ask the Twins to kill them, and so they did, but this time they did not bring these dark spirits back to life, limiting their power over human beings for all times.
In Palenque you will find a depiction of the Snake Dance. This dance is performed by a man a woman who are holding a snake between he two of them.
The snake represents the most elevated spiritual thoughts, and therefore the images refer to the Creation in its beginning. We saw another depiction of the Snake Dance in Palenque Mexico.
This dance is performed as well by a man and a woman, both holding a snake.
The dancers are dressed up as First Father and First Mother, as they create all living beings.
A panel of Yaxchilan also shows the performing of the Snake Dance.
Here, King Bird-Jaguar and a noble man are dancing with snakes wearing beautiful feathers on their heads.
The importance of dancing in rituals regarding the Creation is represented over and over again in Maya history and culture.
We were able to observe the performance of the Maya Dance, not in the Mexican Mayan Rorld, but in a small village in Guatemala.
It was amazing to observe the deep devotion with which the Mayan Dance was executed. This demonstrates that the ancient knowledge of the Mayans has never been lost over the centuries.
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