The Raising of the Greased Pole: Maya Day 2012

by douglas reeser on 3.27.12

I was lucky enough to make my way out to the rural village of Blue Creek in southern Belize for the annual Maya Day event at Tumul K'in School. Maya Day is a celebration of traditional Maya culture, and along with traditional foods, crafts, products, and plants, they hold traditional events and competitions throughout the day. This year they had stilt walking, a corn husk competition, deer dance performances, marimba music and traditional dancing. They also had a greased pole climb! Check out the video to see how they raised the pole and to learn a bit more about the traditional event.
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  1. even raising it is a challenge :> so much fun..
    can't imagine myself going the least bit up! haha even when its not greased !!!

  2. What an experience that must've been. Did you take a gander at it?

  3. Anonymous8:34 AM

    This is awesome! do you know what the prize was?

  4. Thanks everyone for the comments! I hope the video was interesting and somewhat informative - I'm trying to develop my skills in creating short documentary-type videos, but have very limited equipment.

    It was definitely a neat event - It was a month long process to choose the tree, do the proper rituals and preparations, cut the tree, and get it to the school. It took over 20 people to carry it from the forest to the village!

    Tender - you know I was tempted to give it a go, but this pole was so greased up, people were coming off of it covered head to toe! I wasn't prepared to get all messed up!

    As for the prize... I'm planning to do a photo essay about the entire Maya Day event, so I'll keep the prize a secret for now...

  5. Hey Doog: Thanks for the video. Did you stay until the end of the game? There was a "bending" of the rules and at the end the prize was won by a young Mopan. It was great meeting you at Blue Creek. I wish you every success on the research!

    1. Hey Genner! Thanks for the check in - I did catch the end with the drama at the top, and yes, the 'bending' of the rules! Likewise, it was good to meet you, and I wish you well with your research. It would be great to read some of your stuff when it comes available.


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