The Pre-Columbian collection under the custody of La Ruta Maya Foundation has been recently consecrated dyring two solemn ceremonies performed by the Aj’qij’ab of Chimaltenango and Sololá, respectively.
The first one of this year was held on Thursday, July 8, 2019, presided by the Aj’qu’ij ab of Chimaltenango, prior to the opening of the exhibition “The Images of the Maya Gods in the 16th century: The Encounter of Two Worlds” at the Training Center of the Spanish Cooperation in Antigua Guatemala (the exhibition opened to the public on July 16 and will be open until March 1, 2020). For this event it was required to remove the cover of the showcases to facilitate the communication between objects / “Grandfathers”, the people and the ancestors. The main altar – with flowers, fruits and candles – was placed outside the exhibition gallery. Inside, however, the showcases were surrounded with pine and rose petals, as well as with myrtle candles (which do not produce smoke), chocolate and sweet bread offerings, which were placed in front of selected showcases and objects. This was a private ceremonial event that took place at dusk and ended past midnight.
The second was held on Sunday, August 18, 2019 at the Foundation’s facilities, this being a ceremony to “request the permission” of the “Grandfathers” before conducting research on the musical / wind instruments, under the care of La Ruta Maya Foundation. The ceremony was presided by Nana Blanca Estela Colop, of Sololá, in conjunction with the researchers. This time it was a “water ceremony”, in which a ceramic bowl with water and flower offerings was placed in the center of a table, surrounded by black obsidian cores, rock crystals (quartz), and a large green nucleus of Pachuca obsidian. As a special feature, a conch-shell was blown like a trumpet in direction of the four cardinal points. Other whistles were also blown.
It is not the first time that the collection has been visited by Maya spiritual guides with the aim of “awakening” Pre-Columbian objects. In fact, the objective – according to Maya worldview – is to “revive them” so that they can fulfill their original function and “release the knowledge and protection” of the ancestors. The first time, in 2011, the collection was visited by the authorities of the Indigenous Municipality of Santo Tomás Chuwilá, Chichicastenango in the offices of the Foundation, while in 2013, a ceremony was held prior to the exhibition “The World of the Maya Artist” at the Casa N’oj Cultural Center in Quetzaltenango, presided by the Aj’quij Carlos Morán. With activities like this, La Ruta Maya Foundation fulfills its commitment to disseminate and value the cultural heritage of the Nation and make the Pre-Columbian collection accessible to society, respecting the ancient and modern use that each Pre-Columbian object has inherent to its nature and origin.