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Location: The Oregon Cascades, near PDX, United States

Our home in the Oregon Cascades, provides us with peaceful days, and star-filled nights. We are grateful for fresh air, clean water, and enough space for our garden.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Nim Li Punit: If you've been following along with the blog, you might see that these stone walls are different from those in the upland Maya sites that we visited earlier.

Those cities are built with natural stones, set with mortar.

The walls in the lowland sites are primarily constructed without the aid of mortar: each stone used was carefully measured and cut to fit exactly with the stones it adjoins! The strength of the structure depends entirely on this fit!

I don't know if any of you find this as interesting as we do...

In the last picture for this posting, I've shown a lovely example of the Ball Court at Nim Li Punit.

The intimate connection between daily life and the supernatural is shown by the role of the Mayan Ball Game, played in every city. The game was played to re-enact parts of the Creation Myth, the Popul Vuh, in which the Ancestral Hero Twins trick and defeat the Lords of Death. In Mayan legend, the ball court is where the twins actively challenge and outwit the gods!

The rules of the Mayan Ball Game, were simple: using only particular body parts (usually hips or knees) the teams tried to send a rubber ball through a hoop sticking out of a wall. One tradition held that upon shooting the ball through the hoop, the successful player could claim the jewelry of all the spectators!

The game held more ritual significance when played by nobels, or captives...(who, when they lost, were sacrificed... sometimes bound up like a ball and rolled down the pyramid steps!)

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