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Genital and sexual symbology in the Maya world

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dc.contributor.author Angulo Cuesta, Javier
dc.contributor.author Figueroa, Carlos
dc.date.accessioned 2018-11-06T10:18:09Z
dc.date.available 2018-11-06T10:18:09Z
dc.date.issued 2018
dc.identifier.citation Cuesta, J. A., & Figueroa, C. (2018). Genital and sexual symbology in the Maya world. European Urology Supplements, 17(2), e255. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1569-9056(18)31025-X spa
dc.identifier.issn 1569-9056
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11268/7539
dc.description.abstract Introduction & Objectives: In the lowlands and highlands of Guatemala the Mayan civilization flourished from end-3rd to mid-16th centuries. This agricultural and warrior culture developed the only native American writing system and created city-states linked by trade. In the 9th century, a political collapse with massive population displacement occurred. Chichen Itza emerged in Yucatan and k'iche kingdom expanded in Guatemala until the Spanish Empire and its local allies (Nahua and Cachiquel) occupied Mesoamerica. Maya culture persists today in Guatemala, Mexico, Belize and Salvador. Materials & Methods: Review of the literature and archeological evidence in Maya settlements, stelae, museums (Museo de las Americas, Madrid; Museo Nacional de Antropología, Mexico; Museo Nacional de Arqueología y Etnografía, Museo del Popul-Vuh, Ciudad de Guatemala), codes (Dresden, Madrid, Paris, Florentine) and ceramics. Results: Maya genital and/or coital representations are not very numerous but the male/female duality explains the nature and behavior of the cosmos. Maize is male and bean is female. The feminine is death and the origin of life, while the masculine is life and precedes death, but the conception of a new being is the product of the confluence of both. Phallic representations in stone favored fertility. Society was male centered as evidenced by the fact that the glyph to describe penis is “aat”, but there is no symbol for female sex. Penile perforation was the most glorious sacrifice, proper of Kings. The victorious warrior always showed a prominent phallus. Maya ritual acts were dictated by the 260-day sacred round calendar, and all performances had symbolic meaning. Sexual abstinence was rigidly observed before and during such events. For Maya sexual behavior affected the health of the individual, the social relations (both moral and legal) and even the alliance between humans and gods. One of the most typical sexual representations is that of an old male deity seducing a young virgin. Adultery was severely avenged by the affected spouse. The unions between individuals of different ethnicities were badly considered because of the damage caused by procreating a mixed being. There was some tolerance for homosexuality as it was also originally sacred. In fact, the foot of the god Chin K'awil replaced by a serpent is considered the origin of homosexuality. The worldview allowed Maya to inquire about the sex of the gods and consider that transgressions moved the cosmos. Following the Spanish conquest, there was a great deal of overlap between Maya and Christian belief systems. The faults and non-proper acting deregulated the world but Christian mentality (i.e., missionaries fasting, confession and punishment) helped to repair the lost balance. Conclusions: An anthropological approach to sexuality in Maya culture reveals phallic symbology is much richer than initially considered. Sex had a ritual and divine character that is related to the cosmological vision of the world. spa
dc.description.sponsorship Sin financiación spa
dc.language.iso eng spa
dc.title Genital and sexual symbology in the Maya world spa
dc.type conferenceObject spa
dc.description.impact 3.121 JCR (2018) Q1, 17/80 Urology & Nephrology spa
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/S1569-9056(18)31025-X
dc.rights.accessRights closedAccess spa
dc.subject.uem Sexualidad spa
dc.subject.uem Mayas spa
dc.subject.unesco Sexo spa
dc.subject.unesco Símbolo spa
dc.subject.unesco Mayas spa
dc.description.filiation UEM spa
dc.peerreviewed Si spa


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