Jan Kapusta: The Maya Pilgrimage to the Black Christ. A Phenomenology of Journey, Sacrifice, and Renewal

Abstract. – Esquipulas, Guatemala, is the most significant pilgrimage site in Central America. Maya traditionalists come here to materialize their pleas through the bodily enactments of journey, touch, and sacrifice that set in motion not only the lives of the pilgrims but also the world as such. In this article, the meaning of pilgrimage, usually trapped in culturalist or historicist explanations, is placed in a relationship between pilgrims’ practices and their understandings of their lifeworld. This phenomenological perspective enables the anthropology of Latin American pilgrimage to take seriously both native cosmology and experience basis of everyday life on which it is based. [Guatemala, Esquipulas, pilgrimage, Maya cosmology, religious experience, lifeworld]