Re: "Juanita"

John Pastore (venture@CANCUN.RCE.COM.MX)
Mon, 27 May 1996 04:15:14 +0000

Date sent: Sun, 26 May 1996 03:15:43

On 25 May 96 at 23:14, in regard to "Juanita":

> John Pastore wrote:
> >
> > I am imagining my reaction, and can only imagine that
> > "Juanita's" curiosity value is not as a Dead Sea's remains
> > would be and, thus, imbued with some kind of supposed Old
> > World sanctity and, thus, worthy for display, but rather as
> > a young female that is perceived to have been sacrificed by
> > a New World culture, and, thus, its supposed savagery --and,
> > thus, worthy for display.
> >
> This is not about New World versus Old World, but more about
> extant versus extinct religious beliefs. After all, if you go
> to Denmark, you can see the bodies which were pulled out of
> peat bogs: Iron Age religious sacrifices. They have been on
> public display for many years. In fact a replica of one was
> displayed in Norwalk, Ct only recently.

Believe me, I am now going to try and choose my words as
carefully as I can. Here goes:

While bodies pulled from peat bogs in Denmark are, indeed, not of the
Dead Sea variety, I still think that the curiosity value of "Juanita"
is her being a probable 'virgin' that had been 'sacrificed' in a New
World culture. Despite the apparently remarkable state of
preservation which Clinton must have thought he was alluding to, why
is the young girl being described as a victim of a 'sacrifice'?

The issue of sacrifice, and especially mass sacrifice, has been a
sensitive issue throughout Latin America since the arrivals of Cortez
and Pizzaro. Without addressing the problem that there is no clear
understanding and consensus of what constitues sacrifice, much less,
proof that, in "Juanita's" case she was the victim of so-called
"sacrifice", instead of the possible victim of some demented sex
fiends operating as priests, or not, with whatever grip they may or
may not have had on their societies, or even just the victim of a
rockfall, the very idea that "Juanita" has been proposed as a victim
of nothing more than just "sacrifice", can only be for the exhibit's
publicity value.

If she had not been a young girl who had, apparently, been killed
(like a 'vestal' virgin), would Clinton had made his joke at all?

Without, at least addressing the issue of the lack of concensus on
what constitues "sacrifice" (a consideration which NatGeo does not
pursue for what can only be the sensationalism value of presuming
otherwise) , what possible purpose can the exhibition possibly serve,
especially after Clinton's remarks?

The President of the United States essentially told the world its
alright to come and oogle. What do you thing the world would be
doing, right now, if the same should have occurred for the
exhibition of, say, the Virgin Mary --a "sacrificed" one at that?

I would think such an exhibit would immediately be shut-down, if for
no other reason, to make notice that such indecency cannot be
tolerated for not only the sake of a Virgin Mary, or "Juanita", but
the science of Archaeology as well.

But will that happen? I think not, because "Juanita" is an Indian
"sacrificed" --nothing more.

Ka Xiik Keech Ya Utzil,

John Pastore
Writer/Guide in 'El Mayab'
("The Mayan Homeland")

"A teepee is a pyramid, isn't it?"