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Preservation Programs

Preservation Programs

Since the time of the conquest of the American continents, the traditional culture, practices and spirituality of its Native inhabitants have been under constant threat. The devastating effects of colonization, globalization and religious imposition continue to put Indigenous spiritualities at risk throughout the Americas and around the world.

Saq' Be' helps Indigenous cultures preserve their traditional and ceremonial ways. Saq' Be' works directly with respected community leaders in identifying aspects of traditional ways that are endangered to develop preservation programs. Currently, our efforts are centered on supporting the highlands Maya of Guatemala. The Mayan peoples face immediate risks to their traditions from overzealous Protestant churches and development resulting from the advancement of globalization. These pr eservation efforts maintain a sense of urgency, as each passing day runs the risk of another component of an ancient and beautiful tradition being lost.

Filmed Documentation of the Rescue and Preservation of the Mayan Cosmovision Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
Friday, September 12 2003
Contributed by: Admin

INTRODUCTION

The Mayan peoples are one the few ancient civilizations that have survived throughout the centuries, preserving their tradition, their culture and especially their Cosmo vision. The Maya have been a mystery to humanity, having achieved an extraordinary level of development in all human disciplines. They were able to go deep into astronomy, performing measurements and maintaining galactic calendars. They were able to predict with an impressive precision cosmic events such as eclipses and calculate with perfection the orbits of the planets. They developed calculations of the cyclical movements of Venus and were also able to make computations of solar spots. They have developed the most accurate calendars ever created, numbering twenty in all, in which one day needs to be added every 180,000 years. The primary one among these twenty calendars is the sacred Tzolkin, around which the whole Mayan world revolves . The Haab calendar is based on the tropic year - enabling them to develop an agriculture calendar, as well as a lunar calendar, a Venus calendar, among many more. They made great mathematical advances. They were the first to create the concept of zero. They were the first to create fractions and developed a vigesimal system in which three symbols would be used to do all arithmetic operations, such as adding, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc. This was done before any other civilization in the world. In architecture and engineering, the Maya made extraordinary advances; creating monumental constructions, like the famous pyramids and developing extraordinary irrigation systems. They have made the largest construction by humans: there is the subterranean aqueduct that stars at the gulf of the Yucatan and irrigates the states of the Yucatan, Quintana Roo in Mexico and the department of Peten in Guatemala and Belize. They developed a sophisticated social system based on a theocracy that worked in perfection for thousands of years. The Maya are considered to be one of the most mystical and spiritual peoples that have been able to, up to today, conserve their tradition.

Humanity has started to pay attention to the philosophies and spiritually of the Native peoples of the Americas. The Mayans are considered to be one of the most developed traditions in the Americas, thus there is a curiosity for the wisdom and mystery around Mayan magic. It is not unusual to see Mayan shamans around the world transmitting this knowledge.

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FIRST INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF EXPERTS ON THE ANCESTRAL MEDICINE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
Friday, September 12 2003
Contributed by: Admin

Translated by Karen Brandow

1. INTRODUCTION

In September 1993, and in January 1998, in the lap of the heart of the world, La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, two congresses were held. A hundred representatives from indigenous communities located in the American Continent attended these congresses. We met for several days to dialogue and to exchange ideas about our traditional ways of life and the place for indigenous peoples in the world.

These meetings illustrated that in spite of differences in traditional, territorial and linguistic practices (a result of the isolated evolution of the first American inhabitants after the discovery and colonization), American indigenous peoples come from a common trunk, which makes it possible to integrate our knowledge and to strengthen our cultural identity, with the goal of ensuring our continuance in the future as native peoples.

Another relevant conclusion manifested at the end of the II International Conference of Native Peoples, were the similarities found in the current complex problems of indigenous peoples, above all with regards to community health and systems of medical care that we utilize. That is why there is a need for a sensible analysis of knowledge about our traditional and ancestral medicine, its evolution, its current applications and its future development.

Our task is to seek mechanisms that facilitate this analysis among the sages of natural medicine, leading to a strengthening of elements that make up our people?s tradition and generating an alliance between different cultures on the continent and in the world.

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Radio Project: Securing a Means for the Traditional Mayan Voice to be Heard in Chichicastenango, Guatemala Email Article To a Friend View Printable Version 
Friday, September 12 2003
Contributed by: Admin

Saq` Be` is presently working in collaboration with the traditional Mayan body in Chichicastenango, in the Guatemalan Highlands to support their effort to secure and use the medium of radio. The vast majority of radio stations in the are committed to Protestant and Evangelical proselytizing, with NO forum for the voice of the ancient traditional ways. The group of Mayan Ajq'ij (priest) are looking to obtain a frequency and its use in order to broadcast, in the native Quiche (Kich'e) language information including: traditional medicines and healing, the Cosmovision, the meaning and use of the sacred Mayan calendars, traditional customs, songs and more. This project is still in its early stages of development. Saq? Be? is following the lead of the community leaders and will be present once we are asked to step in to provide specific assistance. Presently, we are seeking to raise funds to be able to purchase a frequency once it becomes available on the market. This has been estimated at $7,500 for a ten year lease. We are also looking to consult with those that have expertise in the field of radio broadcast and broadcasting equipment. More information will be posted as we receive further communiqué's from the community.

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