History on Maya civilization

The Maya civilization is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-columbian Americas, as well as its spectacular art, monumental architecture, and sophisticated mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Preclassic period, many of these reached their apogee of development during the Classic period (c. 250 CE to 900 CE), and continued throughout the Postclassic period until the arrival of the Spanish. At its peak, it was one of the most densely populated and culturally dynamic societies in the world.
The Maya civilization shares many features with other Mesoamerican civilizations due to the high degree of interaction and cultural diffusion that characterized the region. Advances such as writing, epigraphy, and the calendar did not originate with the Maya; however, their civilization fully developed them. Maya influence can be detected as far as central Mexico, more than 1000 km (625 miles) from the Maya area. Many outside influences are found in Maya art and architecture, which are thought to result from trade and cultural exchange rather than direct external conquest. The Maya peoples never disappeared, neither at the time of the Classic period decline nor with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores and the subsequent Spanish colonization of the Americas. Today, the Maya and their descendants form sizable populations throughout the Maya area and maintain a distinctive set of traditions and beliefs that are the result of the merger of pre-Columbian and post-Conquest ideologies (and structured by the almost total adoption of Roman Catholicism). Many different Mayan languages continue to be spoken as primary languages today; the Rabinal Achí, a play written in the Achi' language, was declared a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2005.


The site of Quelepa is located in eastern El Salvador, about eight kilometers northeast of San Miguel. Occupied between about 1000 BC and 500 AD, Quelepa is part of the region known as the 'southern Maya periphery, and included monumental architecture, centralized government, and the ceramic style known as Usulutan, influenced by the Maya central zone.

Joya de Cerén, is the name of a village in El Salvador that was destroyed by a volcanic eruption. Known as the North American Pompeii, because of its level of preservation, Ceren offers a fascinating glimpse into what life was like 1400 years ago.
one early evening in August about 595 AD, the Loma Caldera volcano of north central El Salvador erupted, sending a fiery mass of ash and debris up to five meters thick for a distance of three kilometers. The inhabitants of the Classic period village now called Cerén, a mere 600 meters from the volcano's center, scattered, leaving dinner on the table, and their homes and fields to the obliterating blanket. For 1400 years, Cerén lay forgotten until 1978, when a bulldozer inadvertently opened up a window into the perfectly preserved remains of this once thriving community.
the town was big before it was destroyed, archaeological excavations conducted by the University of Colorado under the auspices of the El Salvadoran Ministry of Culture have revealed an astonishing amount of detail of the working lives of the people who lived at Cerén. Components of the village excavated so far include four households, one sweatbath, a civic building, a sanctuary, and agriculture fields

The Mayan ruins of Tazumal, in Chalchuapa, are considered the most important and best preserved in El Salvador. The name Tazumal means 'pyramid where the victims were burned' in the Quiché language. The excavated ruins on display here are only one part of a zone covering 10 sq km (4 sq mi) - most of the ancient wonders still lie buried under the town.
Archaeologists estimate that the first settlements in the area date from around 5000 BC. The excavated structures date from a period spanning over 1000 years. The artifacts found at Tazumal provide evidence of ancient trade between Tazumal and places as far away as Panama and Mexico.
One of the most important artifacts uncovered is a lifesize statue of Xipe-totec, a Nahua god of fertility and war. The figure is covered in what appears to be scales, but are believed to represent pieces of human skin that were evidently cut from sacrificial victims as a tribute.

Traditional Dances of El Salvador
Popular dances:
The Dance of the Chapetones
This dance is executed in the town of Panchimalco. Twelve gentlemen dressed in tuxedos and in shoes appear. A lady dressed in white that represents the Queen and is wearing a headband on her head accompanies them. The dance imitates Spaniard manners and ridicules them with ceremonious and languid movements to the music of a delicate waltz.

The Dance of the little Mare
This dance is from Lenca origin and is executed by Indian towns in the eastern region of El Salvador. The center dancer imitates a mare, dancing barefoot or with sandals wearing a very well imitated horse head, a pack tied to his waist and a hind tail. Four Indians dance around the mare with wide sticks in their hands. This dance ends simulating a fight. The mare intervenes during the fight, separates them ending the fight by kicking and thumping all around, which is her principal role in the dance.

The Dance of the Tiger
Is one of the most ancient dances of the town of Izalco. It represents a mimic of a tiger hunt. A group of eight to ten Indians disguised as hunters, are able to hunt down a tiger after many twists, jumps and dances. They are dressed with a rough-cotton pant folded up to the knee; bear torso and face covered with wooden masks that represent ancient gods. The one that represents the tiger is covered with tiger skins and wears a mask tiger on the head.

The Dance of the Lance (Partesana)
This is a battle dance of Lenca origin. It is also danced in the Indian towns of the East of the country. The number of Indians that participate vary between four to twelve. They carry somewhat long lances with a metal point and decorated with metal curls. This lance is called Partesana. Another group of Indians of equal number accompany them carrying banners, batons decorated with ribbons, bows decorated with relics and woolen balls. The dancers thrown their lances to the sky and capture them on their way down after having made many turns in the air. There is a time when all the lances are in movement creating a battle effect.

The Dance of the Wild Pig
It is a very ancient dance of Indian origin. It is executed in almost all Indian towns in the country. The main dancer is disguised with wild pig skins and in the dance imitating the animal running. Also, there appears a man on the scene elegantly dressed and an old lady with a traditional outfit of the region and a big hat decorated with paper flowers. Another man disguised as a dog conducts de chorus. The members of the chorus are dressed with small shorts and small pacaya leaves skirts with colorful feathers on the head armed with bows and arrows or with wooden lances or long twigs from the huizcoyol tree.

The Dance of Moors and Christians
This dance is executed in almost every Indian town. The dancers simulate a battle that occurred centuries ago in Spain between Moors and Christians. They dress up with clothing of the time of the Spanish conquest. They carry swords, black boots and big masks decorated with antique coins that are placed around the head.

The Dance of the little Bull
This dance is executed at the principal feasts of the towns called Nonualcos, especially in San Pedro. A man disguised as a little bull, with horns on his head and a long hind tail comes out. There also appear bullfighters disguised and masked dancing to the tone of drums and whistles attacking the little bull