Title: Maya Cultural Mosaic
Painter: Marcelo Jiménez Santos
Photographer: Miguel Cetina
This mural, made of 16 rectangular detachable 1.5m x 2m panels, was painted on canvas using acrylic paint. Its full measurements are 12m x 4m. It took 5 months for the artist to complete the entire mural. The mural can be seen in the lobby of the Convention Centre at Chetumal, capital of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo in the Yucatán Peninsula.
The mural depicts allegoric elements of the creation of the Maya, according to the Pre-Columbian cosmology. It also shows aspects of the conquest of the Maya by the Spanish, the so-called “Caste War”, when the Maya confronted the Mexican army in the 19th century, and some cultural practices of the contemporary Maya people.
The Maya from Quintana Roo, belong to the general Maya culture of Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, but have some particular traits that differentiate them from other Maya groups. The mural shows the music, dance, traditional festivals, clothing styles, gastronomy, handicrafts, traditional medicine, games, rituals and ceremonies, and natural landscapes that define the atmosphere of the Maya territory and the cultural uniqueness of the Maya people in this area of Mexico. In this area of Quintana Roo live the descendants of the original Maya máacewuales, protagonists of the Caste War of 1847, which is considered a heroic event associated with freedom, territorial autonomy, and the worship of the Talking Cross, a unifying and guiding symbol of the fight for liberation.
Today, the descendants of the máacewuales share their space with Maya from Campeche and Yucatán who migrated to Quintana Roo, as well as with mestizos of different ancestry.