"Good Morning Tulum" is written by a friend of ours. He really lives the Tulum life and is able to put it into words.
Good morning Tulum!
Yeah, I've lived here quite a long time now. The Maya spirits know me well, the jungle animals and fauna trust me implicitly, and my Tulumense friends are numerous. I need to spend more time on the beach, more time in the Caribbean waters, more time exploring the underground rivers of fresh mineral waters known as cenotes.
The stars still shine brightly over my home. I guess the limited growth of large scale city style lighting has resulted in less night light pollution. I hope to see the US space shuttle pass overhead again this week as it falls back through our planetary atmosphere heading towards it's landing pad in Florida. I saw it two years ago and it was quite a sight, even though I didn't hear the sonic boom as it sped on past.
It's fun to ride my bike around Tulum town. I can chat with locals or meet tourists from virtually anywhere in the world. Most tourists who come to Tulum town only stay a few hours or a few days, then continue on to Palenque, Tikal and other parts of Mexico and Central America. Then there are the people who live here off and on, staying during the winter months or going back and forth to their home countries, working there and relaxing here.
Many people like me have decided to stay full time and build their homes. Living in the jungle is like being a pioneer, slowly building, fixing and maintaining your home, whatever type of home that might be. Some people live in palapas, some in a tent on the beach, more and more in newly built air conditioned casas de lujo (luxury homes). But everybody continues to intend upon making their little slice of paradise better, poco a poco (little by little), just like a pioneer.
I enjoy eating the fruits and veggies from of my garden milpa (milpa is a Maya word for farm field). I eat chaya with eggs in the morning, papaya, coco and noni juice during the day and nopal cactus with dinner. I also enjoy a cold beer on hot afternoons. The heat can be oppressive in the summer but believe it or not my Colorado blood has changed to Caribbean blood and now there are times in winter in which I wish I had a fireplace to warm my old, cold jungle bones.
Many Tulumenses don't like the fast growth rate, not wanting the city to encroach. I think most Tulumenses don't like the shark like business mentality of many of the novatos (rookies) who come here. But Tulum has a way of shaking out those who do not vibe with the vibe here... if you know what I mean. We have a wonderful mix of Maya, Mexican, Belizian, Italian, French, Argentinian, American, Canadian, British, Czech Republic, Cuban and Spanish people who live here full time and are vested in their interest for the positive responsible growth in the region.
Yes, we jungle people see the environmental changes going on. The ocean waters don't display the same extent of magical colored coral reefs as they once did only a few years ago. The results of rising ocean temperatures and major hurricanes have taken their toll. Luckily the cenotes are fresh and clean as ever since the underground river current stems from miles and miles of endless jungle stretching across the Yucatan peninsula. Filtered through limestone caves, the fresh clean well water is one of my favorite things about living here.
The Maya ruins of Zama, now known as Tulum, have also weathered the storm but thankfully still vibrate highly and invigorate thousands of tourists everyday. I always thought it was a pity, economically speaking, that Tulum town receives virtually no impact from the amazing Maya ruins on the beach. But maybe that is for the best, allowing us Tulumenses to grow at our own natural rate, which to me has not changed since I came here almost ten years ago.
In Tulum you can hear many different languages being spoken, with Maya Yucateca being the most interesting. Just like many people speak Spanglish, the Maya people of Tulum mix English, Spanish, Italian and French words with aplomb. When I speak Spanish with Latinos in the USA or Espanolos from Spain, they almost always have to ask me to explain some of my word usage. Like a Brit speaking with an American, sometimes the words don't have the same meaning there as it does here.
But that is what makes life interesting and why Tulum is such a fascinating place to live.
Good morning Tulum! And have a great day...
Barton Crane, Tulumense
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tulum (Yucatec: Tulu'um) is the site of a Pre-Columbian Maya walled city serving as a major port for Cobá. The ruins are located on 12-meter (39 ft) cliffs, along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. One of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites, Tulum is today a popular site for tourists.
The Maya site may have been formerly also known by the name Zama, meaning city of Dawn.Tulúm is also the Yucatec Mayan word for fence or wall (or trench), and the walls surrounding the site allowed the Tulum fort to serve as a defense against invasion. From the numerous depictions in murals and other works around the site, Tulum appears to have been an important site for the worship of the Diving or Descending god.Description
Tulum was first mentioned by Juan Díaz, part of Juan de Grijalva's expedition of 1518. The first detailed description of the ruins was published by John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwoodin 1843 in the book Incidents of Travel in Yucatan. Stephens and Catherwood first visited Tulum in the mid-19th century AD. As they arrived from the sea Stephens and Catherwood first saw a tall building that impressed them greatly. This was most likely the great Castillo of the site. They made accurate maps of the site’s wall and other buildings while Catherwood made some stunning sketches of the Castillo, along with others, which would have been as close to a photograph as possible at the time. Stephens and Catherwood also discovered an early classic stele at the site that had an inscribed date of AD 564 that was most likely brought in from a nearby town to be reused.
Work conducted at Tulum continued with that of Sylvanus Morley and George P. Howe beginning in 1913. He worked to restore and open the public beaches. The work was continued by the Carnegie Institution from 1916 to 1922, Samuel Lothrop in 1924 who also mapped the site, Miguel Ángel Fernández in the late 30s and early 40s, William Sanders in 1956, and then later in the 1970s byArthur G. Miller. Through these investigations done by Sanders and Miller it has been determined that Tulum was occupied during the late Postclassic period around AD 1200. The site continued to be occupied until contact with the Spanish was made in the early 16th century with the site being abandoned completely by the end of the 16th century.
Tulum has architecture typical of Maya sites on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. This architecture is recognized by a step running around the base of the building which sits on a low substructure. Doorways of this type are usually narrow with columns used as support if the building is big enough. As the walls flare out there are usually two sets of molding near the top. The room usually contains one or two small windows with an altar at the back wall, roofed by either a beam-and-rubble ceiling or being vaulted. This type of architecture resembles that done at the nearby Chichen Itza, just on a much smaller scale.
Tulum was protected on one side by steep sea cliffs and on the landward side by a wall that averaged about three to 5 meters (16 ft) in height. The wall also was about 8 m (26 ft) thick and 400 m (1,300 ft) long on the side parallel to the sea. The part of the wall that ran the width of the site was slightly shorter and only about 170 meters (560 ft) on both sides. This massive wall would have taken an enormous amount of energy and time, which shows how important defense was to the Maya when they constructed the site here. On the southwest and northwest corners there are small structures that have been identified as watch towers, showing again how well defended the city would have been. There are five narrow gateways in the wall with two each on the north and south sides and one on the west. Near the northern side of the wall a small cenote would have provided the city with fresh water. It is this impressive wall that makes Tulum one the most well-known fortified sites of the Maya.
Among some of the more spectacular buildings at the site is the Temple of the Frescoes that included a lower gallery and a smaller second story gallery. Niched figurines of the Maya “diving god” or Venus deity decorate the façade of the temple. This “diving god” is also depicted in the Temple of the Diving God in the central precinct of the site. Above the entrance in the western wall a stucco figure of the “diving god” is still preserved, which the temple gets its name from. A mural can still be seen on the eastern wall that resembles that of a style that originated in highland Mexico called the Mixteca-Puebla style. Also in the central precinct is the Castillo, which is 7.5 m (25 ft) tall. The Castillo was built on a previous building that was colonnaded and had a beam and mortar roof. A small shrine appears to have been used as a beacon for incoming canoes. This shrine marks a break in the barrier reef that is opposite the site. Here there is a cove and landing beach in a break in the sea cliffs that would have been perfect for trading canoes coming in. This characteristic of the site is probably one of the reasons the Maya founded the city of Tulum here in the first place, for later Tulum would become a very prominent trading port of the Maya during the late Postclassic.
Both coastal and land routes converged at Tulum which is apparent by the number of artifacts found in or near the site that show contacts with areas all over Central Mexico and Central America. Copper artifacts from the Mexican highlands have been found near the site, as have flint artifacts, ceramics, incense burners, and gold objects from all over the Yucatán. Salt and textiles were among some of the goods brought to Tulum by sea that would then be dispersed inland. Typical exported goods included feathers and copper objects that came from inland sources. These goods could be transported by sea to rivers such as the Río Motagua and the Río Usumacincta/Pasión system that could be taken inland giving seafaring canoes access to both the highlands and the lowlands. The Río Motagua starts from the highlands of Guatemala and empties into the Caribbean while the Río Pasión/Ucamacincta river system also originates in the Guatemalan highlands and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. It may have been one of these seafaring canoes that Christopher Columbus first encountered off the shores of the Bay Islands of Honduras. Jade and obsidian appear to be some of the more prestigious materials found here as the obsidian would have had to have travelled clear from Ixtepeque in northern Guatemala which was nearly 700 kilometers (430 mi) away from Tulum. This huge distance coupled with the density of obsidian found at the site show that Tulum was a major center for the trading of obsidian.
The archaeological site is relatively compact (compared with many other Maya sites in the vicinity), and is one of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites. Its proximity to the modern tourism developments along the Mexican Caribbean coastline (the "Riviera Maya" surrounding Cancún) has made it a popular destination for tourists. Daily tour buses bring a constant stream of visitors to the site. The Tulum ruins are the third most-visited archaeological site in Mexico, after Teotihuacan and Chichen Itza. It is popular for the picturesque view of the Caribbean and a location just 128 km (80 miles) south of the popular beach resort of Cancún.
A large number of cenotes are located in the Tulum area such as Maya Blue, Naharon, Temple of Doom, Tortuga, Vacaha, Grand Cenote, Abejas, Nohoch Kiin and Carwash cenotes and cave systems.
The tourist destination is now divided into four main areas: the archaeological site, the pueblo (or town), the zona hotelera (or hotel zone) and the biosphere reserve of Sian Ka'an.
^ a b c d e f "Maya sites in Quintana Roo: Tulúm" (history), Athena Review Vol.2, no.1, 2003, webpage: AthenaPub-Tulum.
^ a b c "The Ancient Maya", Robert J. Sharer and Loa P. Traxler, Published by Stanford University Press 2006. pp 608-611
^ Muyil-Quintana Roo-Mexico. Last revised Wednesday April 2, 2008. Walter R. T. Witschey. September 17, 2008. (http://muyil.smv.org/tulum.htm)
^ Lowland Maya Fortifications, David Webster, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 120, No. 5 (Oct. 15, 1976), pp. 361-371, Published by: American Philosophical Society
^ The Peoples of the Caribbean: An Encyclopedia of Archeology and Traditional Culture, Nicholas J. Saunders, Published by ABC-CLIO, 2005. pp 299
^ Classic Maya Obsidian Trade, Raymond V. Sidrys, American Antiquity, Vol. 41, No. 4 (Oct., 1976), pp. 449-464, Published by: Society for American Archaeology
Vogel, Susana (1995). Guide of Tulum, History, Art and Monuments. Ediciones Monclem. ISBN 968-6434-29-1.