Friday, December 21, 2012


There is a sensation in the world media today about an alleged Mayan
prophecy that the world will somehow end imminently. A few
hysterics actually believe this, but of course, there are always a few of
these types who carry signs, year in and year out, declaring “The End
Is Near!” They so far have a perfect record of being wrong.

There was some kind of catastrophe, however, which wiped out much
of the ancient Mayan civilization that had dominated Central America
for many centuries. That occurred approximately in 1200 A.D. when rather
suddenly millions of Mayans “disaappeared,” and their lavish culture
ended. Ruins of that civilization survive, but there were few clues left to
tell us what happened to them.This mystery, like the sudden disappearance
of the dinosaur in prehistoric times has been now attributed to natural
disaster. A large meteor landing in what is now the Gulf of Mexico is
believed to be the cause of the sudden disappearance of dinosaurs. In the
case of the Mayans, scientists have determined that a drastic climate
change in the Atlantic Ocean near Central America brought on an extreme
drought that caused most Mayans to die of thirst and hunger.

But not all the Mayans perished. Today, several million Mayans live in
Guatemala, with smaller numbers living in southern Mexico, Honduras,
and neighboring Central American countries. Several thousand live in
southern California, having fled from persecution more than a century
ago in their indigenous homeland. Many modern Mayans still live
together in their own communities, observing ancient customs and religious
practices, and speaking some of the various Mayan languages. Many of
them are tradesmen and small businessmen. Apparently, few if any of them
believe  in the doomsday legend of their ancient calendar. Like so many
indigenous peoples the world over, they are still often persecuted and
shunted aside by contemporary cultures and governments.

The hysterical dilettantes elsewhere in the world, indulging in their doomsday
fantasies, are being paid some sensational attention by the usual suspects in
the world media. When the “momentous” date passes unfulfilled, as it will,
the media will turn its attention to other fantasies, and the surviving Mayans
among us will continue to be ignored.

Copyright (c) 2012 by Barry Casselman.  All rights reserved.

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