"The land of the Maya" Estado de Yucatán by smirnofforiginal

Estado de Yucatán Travel Guide: 1,465 reviews and 3,862 photos

The Mayan lands were not ruled as one empire but as collections of independent cities/states. Each city had a king who was in charge of the city's religious, social and political standings.

The Mayan culture was the Late Classic Period (600 - 900 AD) and at the end of this period the Mayan civilization shifted its focus from Guatamala and Belize to Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Labna in the north of the Yucatan Peninsula. By the 9th & 10th centuries the Mayan civilization collapsed and this is when the Toltecs from Tula arrived, led by Kulkcan (or Quetalcoatl) who established themselves in Chichen Itza.

Francisco de Montejo was commissioned by the Spanish monach to conquer Yucantan and he set off, from Spain, in 1527. He didn't do a very good job . Montejo Junior, with the support of his father and together with his cousin, had another pop (1540) was more successful and in 1542 they founded Merida. Within 4 years most of Yucatan was under Spanish rule

In 1821 Mexico won its independence from Spain but the Mayans were not given their ancestral lands back and were rather oppressed.

The rulers of Yucatan dreamed of independence from Mexico and armed and trained the Mayans. The Mayan's then dreamed of a release from their oppression and misery and thus, in 1847, began The War of The Castes. Mayan rebels gained control of Valladolid and went about the city killing and looting. Within a year the rebels had driven all of their oppressors away - save the ones in Merida and Campeche who were about to leave when the rebels returned home (and apparently planted corn!). When this happened the "whites" regrouped and launched a vicious counter revolution against the Mayans. The result was that 1848 and 1855 the Mayan Indian population was halved. The Mayans feld to the jungles of Quintana Roo and fighting continued until 1866.

The Yucatan Peninsula is a huge, flat, limestone shelf just above sea level. The only part of Yucatan that has height is the Puuc Hills near Uxmal.

There are many cenotes which collect the rainwater, when it falls.

  • Last visit to Estado de Yucatán: Dec 1998
  • Intro Updated Sep 13, 2007
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