"The Ball Court" Ruinas Kohunlích Things to Do Tip by Stephen-KarenConn
Ruinas Kohunlích Things to Do: 26 reviews and 77 photos
On the east side of Merwin's Court is Kohunlich's Ball Court. It is fairly well-preserved and is exceptional because of its short length - 42 meters. Most Mayan sites of importance have such a court; many are larger.
The game played here had great symbolic content, which appears to have been related to a belief in the hereafter and to sacrificial rites.
According to our Mayan guide, young men who were the WINNERS in the game were put to death by decapitation, so that they could become rulers in the next world. They were assured of clear passage to Mayan Heaven without taking the intervening thirteen steps that the losing players have to do.
I suppose they must have been brainwashed from a very early age to believe such a notion. This reminds me of the same kind of blind faith that is instilled into young men of the Muslim religion who volunteer themselves to become suicide bombers, on the promise that they will be given a harem of virgins in paradise.
Some believe that in the Mayan games it was not the winners but the losers of the game who were sacrificed by being put to death. Perhaps it was either one or the other - depending upon the particular game being played.
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