A group of Mayan leaders from North and Central America traveled to Los Angeles last week to explain the confusion over the next cyclical change in the pre-Columbian calendar, and to bless the immigrant community living in this country.
“According to Mayan accounts, this year marks a change in cycle. This cycle began 5,125 years ago, long ago, and the Mayans called them baktuns,” Mexican historian and astronomer Marte Trejo told Efe.
Trejo said that although this year marks the 13 baktun that appears in many Mayan accounts, the world will not end as many people anticipate.
“Do not be alarmed thinking that this year there will be a total destruction of the planet, because what will happen is just a cyclical change in creation that will end in December to begin a new term or new baktun,” he said.
Manuel Xicum, a Mayan priest, and other representatives of the tribe living in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras went last weekend to Olvera Street and the Cultural Center EEK Mayab in Los Angeles to clarify what have been apocalyptic interpretations of the pre-Columbian calendar.
In addition to speaking about the Mayan calendar, Xicum and other leaders of the Zapotec ethnicity held a ritual of blessings in Maya for the immigrant community in America at the historic center of Los Angeles.
“It’s a confusion that has caused some media and others to take advantage of incredulous people over what is really the Mayan worldview,” Xicum told Efe.
“The Mayan worldview is the union between nature and God, it is the union between the celestial bodies and Mother Earth,” explained the priest.
The Mayan calendar is a circular stone slide, disseminated in the Mesoamerican region, which, according to the Gregorian system directory of modern day, began its count on August 13, 3,114 BC.
“The system of counting time for the Maya was not linear, but rather circular, so the calendar is circular, because the cycles start at a point and return to finish right there to start again with a new period,” said Trejo, who works with Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism to discuss the Mayan World.
Trejo explained that a Mayan baktun is a period of 394 years or so that when multiplied by 13 baktuns, which is the complete cycle, results in 5,125 years, which in the Mesoamerican calendar is written to end on December 21, 2012.
Maria Eugenia Loria, a native Mayan matriarch from the Mexican state of Yucatan, told Efe that the Mayan calendar was created based on observing the movement of the stars in terms of one year and cycles for more than 5,000 years.
“In the cyclical change that will happen in December there will be a new alignment of stars that may lead to changes in climate, to which end we don’t know,” Loria said.
Joseph Loria, another Mayan leader from Yucatan, told Efe that the timing of the conclusion of the cycle calculated by the Mayans probably highlights the changes in the functions of the planet.
“Something on the planet is changing, because there are places that have never had rain and are now getting it every day, while there are other places that before today had a lot of rain and are now very dry, causing the loss of crops and animals,” Joseph said.
“These changes of cycles are when we must learn to survive,” he said, “but that does not mean the end of this year will bring the end of the world.”
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story referred to ” leaders from South America,” and should have read North and Central America.