By mapping all the terraces, by studying their size, shape and orientation, and by inventorying pottery shards on the surface, archaeologists have suggested that there were over 2, dwellings on the site with a number of additional civic buildings. It is estimated that the population was between 15, and 30, people at its peak period. Archeologist Richard Blanton has theorized that city represented the capital of an allegiance of Oaxaca Valley groups, built above the smaller agricultural villages in the valley.
There was no water on the mountain and no place to grow food, so food and water were carried up by foot from the valley.
There are famous stone carvings of what were called dancers, which actually probably represent the nude corpses of leaders of groups which the people of the city had conquered. Blanton suggests that the city may have been a military center. He also suggests that it may have been a sacred site for the cult of Cocijo, the god of rain and fertility.
From the top of the mound we looked down upon the central Grand Plaza and the many pyramids and structures in and around the plaza. Beyond the site, there were views in all directions of the surrounding mountains and the valley floor far below. On top of the northern pyramid, a Mexican group engaged in a chant that I did not understand. On the northeast side, there was a well-preserved ball court.
Our guide suggested that there were three players on each side of the ball game who worked to keep a large rubber ball in the air bouncing it from the east to the west walls of the court, reenacting the movement of the sun. Our guide told us that there may have been human sacrifice at the end of the game, possibly involving the winner.
A number of tombs have been found on the site containing valuable possessions which were buried with the dead. On October 23, I was sick, so instead of hiking, I rode in the van from where the others started hiking, up a dirt road through steep canyons to La Neveria where we spent the night. The next day, we hiked through the high forest which were completely in the mountain top clouds. I felt well enough to keep up with the leader, a small Zapotec man who spoke only Spanish. We walked the damp trail which was closely lined with wet grass and other vegetation.
We walked through mixed forest of tall deciduous and pine trees. The trail led us to a dirt road where we saw our first large agave plants, some of the leaves of which had been cut. Celestino, our English speaking Zapotec guide, told us that they made barbecue by putting wood coals in a hole and putting meat on the top of the coals and covering it all with Agave leaves.
The drippings from the leaves gave the meat a special flavor. Celestino talked to me about their community organization. The mountains are divided into areas called communes, and under the Mexican constitution, each indigenous commune has complete governmental and political control in their areas. The communes own the land. Instead of taxes, each person is required to spend time, at different points in their lives, giving service to the community.
Celestino said that he was currently serving as a policeman. The policeman role was less about enforcement and more about being a first responder to emergencies and helping to solve problems. Each commune has a commissioner, who is the chief administrator, along with an authority composed of various chief functionaries, such as the Chief of Police. The authority is selected by the people each year in a large community gathering. The subject of ghosts and spirits was discussed. Our Colorado leader, Chris asked people, Americans and Mexicans, if they believed in ghosts.
Celestino told me a story of the enano dwarf nature spirit he saw as a child. It appeared to him as a small child who he saw move instantaneously from one place to another. Later in life, Celestina went to see a woman shaman who restored him through ritual. Celestino experienced an awakening and realized he wanted to be someone. He began to read and study about biology and history. He knew all the plants in the mountains, including their Latin names, and could tell us a great deal about his people.
He understood the ecology of his place and wanted to write books about that ecology and about the true history of his people. The ecology of the place is unique with tall trees in open, pristine forests.
The Zapotec people are working to protect and improve their environment. The village is comparatively large with one thousand residents. By this time, the rain and wind had increased, and as we walked from the forest into the open village, we grew quite cold. We went in a dining room and had a great lunch of mushroom quesadillas. From this place, because of the cold, most of our group decided to proceed from Juarez in the van. We hiked through the wet forest on a trail, a road, and another trail.
We passed an interesting open area of pine forest with unusual mounds of grass below. Celestino said that the lichens growing from the trees were not negative but were instead an indication of a healthy forest without air pollution. We descended to a small cabin were there was a farmer who was carving wood. He had boxes of potatoes which are the cash crop at this high altitude. We descended through a meadow where we passed a bull who was attached to a rope.
We climbed steeply down past a stream where we saw a line of agaves with their tall blooms. We then climbed steeply up past a spring with a concrete basin where women washed clothes. We arrived at our destination, the Village of Cuajimolayas and walked through it for almost a mile.
As seemed to be the case, it was particularly windy and cold as we walked through the village. We arrived at our cabana and soon found there was no heat nor hot water. I was wet from sweat and from the rain and found I was cold in the cabin.
Chris got in her bed to get warm but was becoming hypothermic, so I put as many blankets as I could on her. Eventually, we got the fire in the fire place roaring and managed to warm ourselves and dry our clothes.
In the morning, the Cuajimolayas was still in the clouds and very wet and very cold, so the decision was made to go down to the valley. Riding in the van, we were soon below the clouds, so we stopped to admire the views of the mountains and the valley far below. We walked for several hours on the road in the warm sunshine. The views of the valley, with its pointed hills and surrounding mountains, were very expansive. We walked past beautiful flowers and a number of different types of tall cactus and through clouds off butterflies.
We walked through two villages past people working and walking the streets. We saw older people guiding donkeys piled with wood, and we frequently saw stray dogs. The second village was again Teotitlan del Valle, the weaving village. We went into a private home to the small second floor area where the mother and grandmother were cooking tortillas on large round pan over the coals of a fire.
On October 23, I was sick, so instead of hiking, I rode in the van from where the others started hiking, up a dirt road through steep canyons to La Neveria where we spent the night. Paris, Espace Ararat, 11 rue Martin Bernard, Meuse l'oubli PDF Online. Poti Mer Noire. It was a hot descent and climb back. Read Solfege Rythmique V.
The small room had a metal roof and was completely open above a waist-high wall. There were views of the village and the wooded mountains beyond. We went downstairs into the large, shaded courtyard, which was open to the sky.