XCARET - CHANKANAAB - XCARET
The evidence shows that the commercial port of Polé, which we know today as Xcaret, was the main departure point for the communities of the Ekab region on the pilgrimage to Kuzamil, nowadays Cozumel. The Sacred Mayan Journey route recreates year after year a ceremony that begins with a farewell ceremony to godspeed the brave oarsmen and women, who start a trip to the Ixchel Sanctuary with the first ray of sun.
The importance of the Caribbean Sea in the Sacred Mayan Journey
For the Maya civilization who inhabited these places, the Caribbean Sea had great relevance as a source of food and a means of transportation, besides pointing the entrance to the Xibalbá or Maya underworld, having a simile in the cenotes as a gateway. The Sacred Mayan Journey also represents the transition to the afterlife in the continuous cycle of life.
XCARET TRADE PORT
Itzaes, Tantunes, or Mactunes (those of the door of the prophecy) lived in Cozumel. The sculpture that represented Ixchel was made of clay and had a secret door through which the Chilam or priest entered to carry the words of the goddess’ oracle. There is a belief that the pilgrimages arrived in the current archaeological zone of San Gervasio in Cozumel.
XAMANHÁ (PLAYA DEL CARMEN) AND THE MAYA
Another departure point for the pilgrimages to pay tribute to Ixchel could have been Xamanhá, which we now know as Playa del Carmen. With the decline of the Maya civilization and the arrival of the Spanish expeditions, Xamanhá remained uninhabited until it re-emerged as a small fishing village in the early 20th Century.
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