Sunday, March 30, 2008

A tribute to Mexico People

This is the April Issue I wrote for Déjà vu magazine. You can also find other great articles here: Deja vu international

Mexico ~Chichen Itza~Archeologic, Visit Mexico (198, 69, 38)

I love to travel and explore real and second life places and I decided to make tribute to my friend’s country. Maybe I can have all 192 countries members of the United Nations as homage. So I ask my friends to write an article about their countries. For my surprise Patt Sands a very intelligent and especial friend sent me this remarkable note about Mexico. This is not an interview but a very well wrote article. Enjoy your second life and maybe you real life in a travel to this fantastic country.

The most notable tourist draws in Mexico are the ancient Meso-American ruins, and popular beach resorts. The nation's temperate climate and unique culture – a fusion of the European (particularly Spanish) and the Meso-American – also make Mexico a large draw.

This article is about the impressive pre-Columbian archaeological site. Chichen Itza, pronounced (/tʃiːˈtʃɛn iːˈtsɑː/) from Yucatec Maya Chi'ch'èen Ìitsha' was a major regional center in the northern Maya lowlands. I invite you to travel in the thought and words written from Patt Sands.
Anna Avalanche

Text from Patt Sands, Photography by Anna Avalanche
Models Anna avalanche and KidBengala Blackadder

Chichen Itza

People say there are places to be remembered but not all places capture our attentions in the same way. That is what I felt when a while ago, with sweat on my forehead, gasping; a little tired after climbing 91 stairs. Finally, I arrived at the top of the Pyramid of Kukulkán (plumed serpent). This place is most commonly referred as, “El Castillo” (the castle). It was built with nine terraces and four staircases, one on each side of the monument. Each staircase consists of 91 steps. If you add the steps of all four staircases, that totals 364 steps and with the top platform of the pyramid you get the number 365, which equals the number of days in a year[1]. This is the most famous place of the late classic maya culture in the city of Chich’en Itzá (At the mouth of the well of the Itza) located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

There, two special days a year before sunset, many people gather around the pyramid and wait. Then, an undulating shadow identified as the, “Great Plumed Serpent” moves down the balustrade of the staircase. I could see one corner of the structure casting a shadow in the shape of the famed plumed serpent descend along the side of the northern staircase. I could feel the mysticism which, arises from the seven shadows transcending the stones; a wonder that can only to be seen on the Spring and Fall equinox[1]. The Mayan people were great architects and astronomers. They knew to anticipate that moment in time when the center of the Sun can be observed to be directly above the Earth’s equator. El Castillo was built oriented in such a way, so as to produce this amazing shadow projection, which will occur this year on March 20th and September 22nd.

Concurrent, sound was as important as light. When a person claps their hands at the base of the staircase, they evoked echoes from the countless facets of the Mayan pyramid. Uniquely interesting is that the echo resounds to mimic the primary call of a Quetzal, the Mayans’ sacred and symbolic bird. This magnificent bird, now near extinction, has for thousands of years represented the “Spirit of the Maya”; spirits that tradition ascribes to be able to speak in echoes.

Research involving the Pyramid of Kukulkán has been ongoing, as modern technology allows. Scientist Nico Declercq of Ghent University in Belgium[1] has more recently shown that sound waves ricocheting around the tiered steps of “El Castillo” create a parody including the chirp of a bird and the patter of raindrops. Declercq's team has shown that the height and spacing of the pyramid steps function as an acoustic filter that emphasizes some sound frequencies while suppressing others. An underlying questions prevails, “In the creation of form, function and functionality, did the original architects know exactly what they were doing?” To the Mayan people, this rhetoric question is akin to asking if the enduring works of Mozart and Beethoven where also accidents.

As my day drew to a close, I had the opportunity to hear from far away, some old canticles invoking “Chaac”, the archival God of Rain. In that fleeting moment, the “Itzaes” were again alive and asking for both mercy and water; sustenance of life of their abandoned city. Archaelogical findings suggest that Chichen Itza’s collapse was violent[1], and the population abandoned the metropolis around AD 1221, but the Cenote Sagrado (Sacred Cenote), where sacrifices were supposedly practiced as a form of worship to Chaac, prevails as a pilgrimage, where one will find a natural sink hole formed by water percolating through the soft limestone above.

In 2007, El Castillo of Chichen Itza was voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, by a worldwide plebiscite.

I invite you to visit the Mexican Tourism Board’s portrayal of Chichen Itza [Mexico ~Chichen Itza~Archeologic, Visit Mexico (198, 69, 38)], where you will enjoy a rare opportunity to look directly into Mayan history, while wearing traditional robes.
Patt Sands

Anna Avalanche sponsored by:
AA Trade Company, Cleary (120, 70, 113)

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