Monday, 13 July 2015

temple of the smoking mirror and tonina

at the temple of the smoking mirror

Toniná means the House of Stone. In Tzotzil ton means stone.

I love this site, it is very evocative with an amazing history and also less well known so less overrun, than some of the other sites. It's free on Sunday - there were probably more people there because of that but it was still very tranquil.  The views from the bus to Ocosingo from San Cristobal de las Casas are stunning, you make your way down from the mountains and through the Lancandon jungle, corn and palms growing by the road. The temperature rises too as you come down from the mountains. Then there is a local collectivo bus from Ocosingo to Tonina through equally gorgeous scenery.

My guide taught me a few words of Tzotzil such as chac for rain,  you couldn't ask for more for a Sunday outing.

The people at Tonina believed we are living in the last of four eras of human history, represented by four suns.  This one is the fourth sun of winter, mirrors, the direction north and the end of human life in the form we know it.

Toniná's pyramid has seven platforms, crowned by thirteen temples. A central stairway leads up to the Temple of Smoking Mirror. Smoking mirror refers to obsidian. There are palaces for the ruling families in the acropolis. This area was lavishly decorated, in contrast with the acropolis' western section, From the four temples of the seventh platform, priests and nobles managed the four regions of the sky, fought battles against darkness and observed the stars and planets.

Tonina is beween Palenque nd San Cristobal In 711 CE Tonina conquered Palenque; in 900 AC Tonina was abandoned and it’s inhabitants disappeared.

The pyramid at Tonina is now thought to be bigger than the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan.

Underneath the temples is the palace of the underworld,  a labyrinth of 11 vaulted passageways where shamans did their work.

cacao sculpture in the museum

The Zapatistas a have a lot of support in this area.

EZLN poster

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