The world will (not?) end in 2012: Mayas vs. Incas
Although anthropologists and historians typically agree that the Mayan civilization of southern Mexico and Central America ended within a generation of the rise of the Incas in the beautiful Andes of South America, it’s always cool (in an exceedingly nerdy way) to wonder who would have won had the Mayas and Incas gone to war.
In a more modern battle of beliefs, a group of Peruvian Shamans gathered in Lima on Dec. 30th for a traditional year-end ritual. This year they offered prayers and sacrifices of coca leaves to Inca gods specifically to counteract the supposed old Maya prophecies that the world will end in 2012.
India TV News reports:
The shamans, dressed in traditional Amazonian and Andean outfits, summoned the ancient Inca gods to ask them to change the prophecies that many think signal the end of the world on December 21, 2012.
“This is not going to happen, to those who think that way to spread panic, (we say) no, the world is not going to end. The bad things, hatred, revenge, rage are ending. And a new spiritual world of peace and love will be starting,” said Juan Osco a shaman from the Andes.
I guess we’ll find out soon enough (on my Mother’s next birthday, no less!) whether the Mayas or the Incas will win this one. They also offered prayers for world leaders, to include President Obama, CFK, Kim Jong-il, and the new president of Spain. The BBC and the Huffington Post provided some neat videos of the ceremony, which can be found here and here (respectively).
Check out Americas South and North for a more in-depth historical and anthropological look at how we (collective term used loosely) may have been Misreading Mayans, provided by Colin M. Snider.
And with that, I’ll leave you with the wisdom of my friend Nancy: “If [the Mayas] were so good at predicting things, they’d have seen the Spanish coming.”