By Mary Jo McConahay

In Maya Roads, McConahay attracts upon her 3 many years of touring and dwelling in valuable America's distant landscapes to create a desirable chronicle of the folks, politics, archaeology, and species of the important American rainforest, the cradle of Maya civilization. Captivated by way of the beauty and secret of the jungle, the writer brings to lifestyles the serious good looks, the glorious locales, the traditional ruins, and the awful violence. She witnesses archaeological discoveries, the transformation of the Lacandon humans, the Zapatista indigenous rebellion in Mexico, elevated drug trafficking, and assists within the uncovering of a conflict crime. Over the many years, McConahay has witnessed nice alterations within the zone, and it is a unique tale of a woman's experience and the difference and unravel of a people.

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Or I felt embarrassed that my own face was whole and smooth. Mateo spoke so kindly, however, his looks quickly became secondary to his manner. He swept a hand around the entire enclave before I left him, in a way I took to be a gesture of welcome. Chan K’in, the Little Sun, sat on a planed log outside his house, whittling smooth a three-foot branch. The house behind him looked no finer than others, despite the elder’s station as village chief. No windows cut Prologue 23 in its wood plank walls, the roof thatched palm.

Héctor Escobedo knelt in a pit, removing soil from a skeleton with a toothbrush and a dentist’s scaling tool, oblivious to tiny, stingless sweat bees buzzing around his face. He showed me where I could spread my plastic poncho on the ground above the pit and watch. Kekchi Maya Indian men worked near me, and, a few feet away, another team excavated a similar-looking pit dug into a house mound. The person whose remains were appearing in the dirt where Escobedo worked had been buried in the house where he or she lived, a commoner’s version of a royal burial inside a pyramid.

Some call the Lacandón of Naha the Last Lords of Palenque, descendants of Maya who lived in the ancient city until at least the ninth century. Others say the Lacandón are a mix, descendants of those escaping the Spanish who intermarried with jungle residents and created an entirely new jungle population, now only five hundred years old. Whatever their provable lineage, Lacandón clearly carry knowledge, perhaps secrets, of Maya from the past. –––– Chan K’in’s youngest wife was younger than I, a teenager who stared at me endlessly, even adoringly, as if I were a siren.

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