ULAMA: EL JUEGO DE LA VIDA Y LA MUERTE=THE GAME OF LIFE AND DEATH. by Roberto RochinBook and DVD. The ball game was one of the essential cultural forms of prehispanic Mexico. Such was its importance that it has survived today in some remote parts of Nothern Mexico, on the border of the ancient Mesoamerican
This film combines an archaeological rescue, with an ethnological testimony of the present-day game known as Ulama. Special emphasis is placed on the philosophical and ritual meaning of the game, which in cultures before the conquest was a fundamental part of the prehispanic cosmovision.
Using selected samples of art and arquitecture, as well as a reconstruction of muths and legends, the film explores the concept of time and movement of the prehispanic cultures, and the relationship between these ideas and the ball game.
The essential concepts are shown throughout the Olmec, Maya, Zapotec,
Totonac, Toltec and Aztec cultures. The most important ball courts are desplayed, from Arizona to Central America, and finally the film demostrates the present-day characteristics and variations of Ulama, and its certain relationship with the ball game of Ancient Mexico.
The cycle closes with death on the ball court: in the past the player is sacrificed by decapitation, his head rolls down the court like a ball. In the present the player goes down, struck by the solid rubber ball. (that weights 4 kilos
ULAMA: EL JUEGO DE LA VIDA Y LA MUERTE=THE GAME OF LIFE AND DEATH.
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