20th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Travel
"Pok Ta Pok game"

Among the traditions of the ancient Mayans is the Ball Game, which more than a sport constitutes a true ritual with which to thank the good harvest and also ask the gods for their protection, this set is called Pok Ta Pok . The ball used in this ritual is made of rubber, the warriors are divided into two teams, which must score said ball in one of the stone rings placed at various points on the court and some distance from the ground, the complex thing here is that this throw must be with the hips only. These warriors had to be strong because they represented the gods themselves, so it is said that the team that lost had to be sacrificed, that even though death itself was an honor for the participant to give his life before his gods.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 10.2022
Date Uploaded: 11.2022
Photo Location: Merida, Mexico
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Copyright: © Volodymyr Serdiuk