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A Brief History of the Mayan people

The Maya Culture of Belize is fading away. And, we need to bring back the Maya History. Batab Maaskab Masewal (The Northern Maya of Belize) from Orange Walk explained to me a brief history of the Mayas.  And, even right here in Corozal. there is a Mayan Group called the To'one Masehual'on group. If you want any information about the Mayas please contact this two pages. I want to thank the Batab Maaskal for this great information of the Mayas.


The Maya people  of the  Northern Belize belong to the group known as Yucatec Maya which are found in Corozal,Orange and Cayo . The Maya have been in the northern area of Belize since the first contact with the Spanish resisting for over 200 years until the British came . When the British came to Belize they did not encounter the Maya living in the sea side but they continue to live inland. As the British went deeper to the jungle they face Maya resistance by the rio Bravo,lamanai and Yalbac area . The British reported several attacks done by the Maya with bows and arrows in 1788 and 1801 . The last attack of the Maya done by bows and arrows was reported to have happen in march of 1848 . During the 1847 uprising of the Yucatec Maya many cross the rio hondo and intermix with the local Maya since they spoke the same Maya language . The 1847 uprising of the Maya is know today as the Maya Social War more commonly called The Caste War of Yucatan and during that period many migrated to Belize. In 1853 the British and the Yucatec Maya group known then as the Icaiche Maya under the leadership of Luciano Tzuc sign a treaty where the north western Belize would be under their control . The treaty was not respected by the British. later,  At around the same time the Yucatec  Maya group known as the Cruzoob Maya who had a better relationship with the British because they bought weapons from the form a Maya state. This Maya state was called Chan Santa Cruz state encompassed all of the southern and central parts of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. With associated, buffer and splinter groups, this state was the core of a broader indigenist independence movement that controlled virtually all of the old Iz'a territories. These territories include the eastern, central and southern portions of the Yucatán peninsula, extending from Cape Catoche south to include what is now northwestern Belize and northeastern Guatemala. The Cruzoob Maya where at war with the Spanish . When the British wanted to expand their woodcutting operations they faced Maya resistance in Icaiche and in the Yalbac área of Belize. With the support of Marcus Canul and the Maya who had migrated to the San Pedro Yalbac area, the Icaiche led by Asunción Ek defeated the British troops in December 21,1866 known as the battle of San Pedro Yalbac . The British sent more troops and weapons to destroy the Maya villages burning their houses and fields in 1867 . Many Maya move to western Belize Cayo and founded villages there . Also Many move up north . Many Maya rebuilt their villages on the area . Marcus Canul and the Icaiche continued fighting. They marched into Corozal town in 1870 briefly taking over the town. The Icaiche`s last stand was in September 1,1872 when Marcus Canul and over 150 Icaiche warriors attacked Orange walk town. Marcus Canul was mortally wounded. With their charismatic leader gone there was a lull in attacks from the Icaiche but the records indicate that their resistance continued until the end of the century. Around 1901 when the Mexican federal army took Chan Santa Cruz many Cruzoob Maya Rebels cross the Rio Hondo and stayed in what would become Belize . The Yucatec Maya that stayed in the village of  San Jose yalbac where move in 1937 through intimidation and village was burn down . Many move more up north . By the 1960 the Maya started to work in sugar cane which change their way of living going from traditional Maya houses to cement houses . Today many Maya continue to do milpa and farming . Also many are teachers,doctors,police men etc . Even that many Maya do not live traditionally they continue practicing their Maya traditions in Corozal and Orange walk . Traditions like Hanal Pixan,Biix,Jetz Mek,Wahil Kol Primicias ,Cha chaac primicias and others . In 2017 the Yucatec Maya gathered to celebrate in Orange Walk their identity and culture as Maya of northern Belize . Celebrating also their hero Marcos Canul
By Andy Chuc

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