This picture is from the band Alma Maya from San Jose, Orange Walk 2017.
Belize is a country rich in culture and music. As different cultural ethnic groups interact they borrow instruments and make a unique sound which is adapted to their culture. While most of us know about the Creole Brukdown, the Garifuna punta music and its more modern form known as Punta Rock. There are other cultural music being played in Belize. In the Yucatec Maya communities of Northern Belize who may also be known as Maya Masewal or Maya Mestizo their traditional music is known as Maya Pax and Jarana. This music for the Northern Maya of Belize have a more religious ritualistic used especially when dancing the Óok'ostaj Pool(Hoghead dance).
Music have always been part of the Maya spiritual life but as the time went their surroundings was changing and they had to adapt to those changes. So they found new ways on expressing their identity. The origin of mayapax which means "Maya Music" happened in the center of Quintana Roo dating back to the mid-nineteenth century during the indigenous rebellion known as the Caste War. According to the oral tradition of the region, the Yucatec Maya group known as the Cruzo'ob Maya of the peninsula began the cult of the Holy Maya Cross, establishing a political-military-religious organization that became fundamental in the Maya resistance. The Maya Pax musicians used to play their music for the holy Maya Cross. As Many Maya rebels felt disillusion with the way the war was going they settle in Belize bringing their traditions and music.
Jarana its genesis is located in the haciendas of the colony as instruments where brought from Europe, but the development and the cultural personality that it acquired in this State, particularly in the Maya culture, tells us about the process of adaptation, re-rationalization and resignification of the jarana music. Resently there been attempts of recreating Pre-hispanic Maya music in Northern Belize as a cultural revitalization. Sadly the Mayapax groups are close to extinction with only 2 groups in all Northern Belize. As we have seen presently the Maya of Northern Belize still have that rebellious fighting spirit and hopes of preserving their culture including language,Spirituality,tradition,history and Maya pax are still alive.
Belize Yucatec Maya