A Healthy Experience

Our experience with the use of medicinal plants goes back a millennium. If you have health problems, you may want to try the herbal pharmacy. Or, you may visit a traditional doctor (pulsador) in the church of the museum, who may diagnose your condition by reading your pulse, or perform a ritual to heal body and soul, using prayer or the temazcal (traditional steam bath).…

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Exhibit Spaces

1 – The Public Plaza

This room shows the visitor the extent in which traditional medicine is practiced and preserved in the communities of Chiapas. Also on display here are the most common categories of indigenous medics that form part of the Organization of Indigenous Medics of the State of Chiapas (OMIECH).

Most common categories of the Indigenous Medics:
J’ilol – Pulse reader
K’oponej witz – Mountaintop prayer healer
Tzak’bak – Bone healer
Jve’t’ome – Midwife
Ac’vomol – Herbalist

Being an indigenous medic is not something that can be learned. Only those who have the gift or the “don” and have discovered this gift in dreams can practice.

The sense in which indigenous medicine is dispensed is not biological. Even though we use plants with medicinal properties, for example trébol de agua and bolsa de pastor. The majority of the preventative work is done through prayer in the hills like in Ojo de Agua and in Los Cruces.

Prayer such as this consists of ceremonies practiced three times a year to prevent illnesses and to obtain a good harvest and plenty of food. These ceremonies consist of music, fire crackers, and drinks (such as posh).

2- The church

Constructed as much for visitors as it was for traditional medics, the church is one of the most interesting environments within the museum and is a sacred space protected by saints that were blessed specifically for this space.

3 – The Mountaintop Prayer Healer’s Garden

Exhibited in this area are examples of plants, animals, and minerals that are used in healings by the traditional medics of the Chiapas Highlands.

A mural representative of the magnificence and density of the southwest mountains of Mexico occupies one wall. At the center of this space the mountaintop prayer healer can be found.

4 – The Midwife’s House

In this small room we are shown how a Tzotzil midwife practices, using few instruments, just the ability and experience in her work.

5 – The Herbalist’s House

In the herbalist’s house it is shown how to prepare sacred plants, such as pilico. Pilico is a preparation of wild tobacco and limestone that is ingested by indigenous Chiapanecans in order to resist malignant spirits. The herbalist knows when a plant is toxic or poisonous.

6 – The Candle Workshop

In indigenous medicine, candles are a fundamental element, and the curative capacity and function of a candle is dependant on its color and size.

The process of making candles is exhibited here as is the process of making the pilico.

Multiple Use Room

Here displayed for the visitor are informative videos and documentaries that discuss the museum. Along the same lines are temporary photography expositions and paintings that exhibit these relating to different aspects of indigenous life and thought.…

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Mayan Medicine Museum

In 1997, our Museum of Mayan Medicine received the National Museum Prize “Miguel Covarrubias”, given by the National Institute of Anthropology and History. The Museum’s primary objective is spreading information about Tzotzil and Tzeltal curative practices on regional, national and international levels.

The Museum consists of several museographic environments depicting the traditional Mayan practices and therapeautic resources of the indigenous physicians of Chiapas. The museum possesses six exhibit spaces and a demonstrative garden containing many important medicinal plants.…

Maya Nov 04, 2014 History Comments Off Read More
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