Xcaret and the Maya Culture

About the Mayan Culture.   Water assumed great importance to the Maya. The ocen, sinkwholes, and surface rivers provided means for purification, ceremony, crop irrigation, transportation and trade. The exterior of homes built at sea level consisted primarily of bamboo. Xcaret’s replica of lowland homes is blessed with an abundance of fresh produce and sits picturesquely along the river’s edge. A canoe filled with fruitful overflow stand ready for departure to destinations along a designated route for trade. As architecture evolved at slightly higher elevations, the bamboo was replaced with a harder wood. The palapas at Xcaret show a variety of creative constructions: homes where the wall posts and other where they are horizontal. Still other constructions portray more artistic woven pattern with the long hard wood posts. Because the Maya had no nails, joints were bound together with bejuco, a supple tropical vine.   The Maya were not without a sense of humor: the intermediate horizontal wooden beam supporting the roof was called the beelcho, which literally translated means “the mouse path”. Where stone platform were unnecessary, homes rested on the ground. Floors consisted of limestone gravel covered with compacted layers of white sascab sand; or simply hard compacted earth. As the Mayan Village path at Xcaret reaches even higher elevations, the homes are constructed of stone and blocks of sand, similar to those found in the mountain communities of Chiapas and San Cristobal. The Village’s uppermost replica reflects the colonial influence with the introduction of red tile, rather that the more traditional palm roofs.   We hope you can visit Cancun and the Riviera Maya, don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about this ancient culture.