Monday, November 06, 2006

Magnificent Mayan civilization that attracts tourists stars in Mel Gibson's 'Apocalypto'
More than a thousand years after the Classic Mayas vanished from the magnificent cities they built in the tropical forests of Mexico and Central America, interest in their art, beliefs and traditions has never been higher.

That attention is likely to peak next month when Mel Gibson's $50 million epic "Apocalypto" opens in theaters nationwide. To be released by Disney's Touchstone Pictures on Dec. 8, the R-rated movie (for graphic violence and disturbing images) focuses on the end of the Mayan civilization.

Filmed in Veracruz, Mexico, and completely in the Mayan Yucatec language, the movie tells the story of a peaceful village that is violently conquered by another Mayan tribe. Many of the inhabitants are brutally killed and others captured, destined for mass sacrifice. The plot focuses on one villager, Jaguar Paw, who tries to rescue his family.

It mentions a fashion designer's collection featuring Maya-inspired clothing:

There doesn't seem to be a whole lot the Mayanists are up in arms about. . .yet. The mass sacrifices is the main bit of contention I've seen (i.e., that the Maya didn't do mass sacrifices), but the article seems to imply that similar sacrifices did happen. I believe the Bonampak murals show sacrifices involving numerous war captives, so maybe this isn't a big deal.