Monday 8 July 2019

The Broken Circle by Anna Castle

The Broken Circle

"A truly delicious short story giving us a glimpse into the lives of the Maya in sixteenth century Yucatan."


short story (20 pages)
16th Century/ Mayan Culture

"Ix Cahum finds a way to tend her bees and keep her small world turning after Spaniards and plague sweep destruction across the Maya lands."

A delicious short story

A truly delicious short story giving us a glimpse into the lives of the Maya in sixteenth-century Yucatan. The main character is a beekeeper, faithful to the rituals and seasonal cycles followed by generations of ancestors before her. There are few still living in her village; her husband and children and many others have succumbed to the Espan Yols’ pox. The author delves into the Mayan religion, their centuries-old belief that their gods will keep all of nature running smoothly, their reliance on their priests to interpret the stars and to intercede with the gods on their behalf. It was wonderful to get a flavour of one Mayan language, Yucateco, presented to us by a distinguished linguist. The connectedness of everything Mayan, is apparent – and tragic. 

Without the priests to pray to the gods, and to instruct the people, how will they know when to sow and when to harvest? How will they survive – the precious few who still remain? 

© JJ Toner

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