San Juan La Laguna
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"Basquetbol Maya" In A Tzutujil Town
Lost and wandering through the relaxed lakeside town of San Juan la Laguna, Guatemala, we wander through the basketball courts next to the tiny central park. A bunch of teenagers are wearing hip cloths and headscarves, hitting a rubber ball with their elbows and hips towards a hoop suspended from the rafters. As an archaeologist, I recognize this game: the mesoamerican ball game, nearly 4,000 years old. I've seen this put on for tourists, but never for fun. Until recent revivalist movements, the game was all but extinct outside of West Mexico. "Como se llama el juego?" "Basquetbol Maya." They tell me the best players get all the girls.
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