In this blog we offer information about Cozumel past and history wich is very reach, bibliografy consulted is oficial. Enjoy a little bit of the heritag that Cozumel has and some of it lives in the present.
Friday, August 14, 2009 Cozumel before the Spaniards
Cozumel or "Cuzamil" wich in Mayan lenguage means land of swolows and it was its name before the arrival of the Hispanics, it was an independent Mayan political organization with its own caciques(chiefs). Its governing center was the site called "San Gervacio" located on the mid part of the Island, it has several stuctures that can be apreciated and also they counted with nice comunication ways called "sacbe" wich in mayan lenguish means white road that conected the different villages or towns like El Cedral, Buena Vista, San Miguel and Molas.
The main activitiy was agriculture and the best lands where ocupied for that.
There has been some findings at El Cedral town of clay potery that sugests the population from Cozumel came from the region of what today is Guatemala & Belize called "El Peten".
About the Commerce
during thos days of the pre-Hispanic priod, Mayans, Chontales and other Mesoamerican groups carried out an intense commerce with the Caribbean.
Batholomeo de las Casasa and Cistobal Colon during theire fourth trip saw a canoe of Mayan retailers in front of Guanaja islands that crossed the Caribbean islands to carry out trade; they brought blankets, cotton weaves, colorfull feathers, salt, honey, wax, cacao and other products. Great importance had Cozumel Island for the Mayan retailers; of wich they started off or touched before seting sail for traiding.
Some of the Mayan Costumes
where to bury theire dead under stone or in the house`s foundation, (this could obay to the fact that the soil in the Island is very thin and rapidly is foud the limestone wich it will make very dificult to make a hole in the ground).
They use to adorn them with pectorals of conch, or coral covering the skull with a vessel, sometimes they also included sea shels, obsidian knifes, and oter adorments like jade pieces, necklaces, earings and corporal ornaments.
and health were favorable for the inhabitants of Cozumel; acording to the studies in the bones found in diferent burials, we can say that they were more corpulent and tall than those that lived inside the Yucatan peninsula, since their average stature was of 1.60 mtrs against the 1.45 ntrs in the main land.
Their set of teeth was healthful and is suposed that theire life expectancy was arround 50 years.
It is belibed that theire diet was rich in protein content due to the abundance of natural resourses like fish, seafood,turtule meat, deer, pork spine,turkey, ducks, doves etc.
In the jungle, existed sapodilla tree, zaranullo, ramonal, seeds cooked and ground turned into lump to make tortillas and a lot of fruits such as sweet potatoes and yuca.
They collected honey from the wild bees, also prepared a drinck called "balache" wich was made with the ferment of the bark, honey and water and was ofered to the good of rain "Chac".
I will continue shareeing with you more about the Mayan culture and customes of the ancient Cuzamil and throught the history up to our days, so stay tuned, also I will set links to diferent pages to find more about this facinating subject.
Cozumel is awesom diving of course but has lots more to offer to the traveler and the one who is willing to know more about the heritage and culture of the places they dive.
Thank you for reading, please send you comments or sugestions to my e firstname.lastname@example.org
Best regards from the land of swalows Cuzamil............
Felipe Romo PADI OWSI 36363
Posted by Felipe Romo at 11:01 AM
Labels: Cozumel Mayan History
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