Q'anjob'al - Religion and Expressive Culture



Q'anjob'al religion is a combination of elements of traditional beliefs with Catholicism. Although they recognize the Catholic God, Jesus, and the Virgin Mary, they place them within the context of their own traditional religious perspectives. God is believed to have appeared on earth during the creation and Jesus is believed to have been crucified in each local village. The Virgin Mary and the saints are spiritual beings that protect local villages from evil. The Q'anjob'al believe that evil exists in many forms and that it may exist simultaneously with good in the same deity.

A central symbol within the Q'anjob'al cosmology is the cross. Crosses stand in front of the churches in the villages. These crosses vary in height from 4.5 to 21.2 meters high. Whereas Catholics identify the cross with the Crucifixion, the cross also represents traditional conceptions of the heavens and the earth. In addition, it is an integral part of the Maya calendar, which is the basis for much of Q'anjob'al cosmology.


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