May 6th, 2013
The jade head was discovered at in the Belize District’s Mayan site of Altun Ha in 1968 by Dr. David Pendergast of the Royal Ontario Museum of Canada. The head, along with forty other objects, had been placed within a large tomb that was located below the stairblock on the Temple of the Masonry Altars. At the center of the tomb were the remains of an elderly adult male. This elite person was likely an important ruler of the site during his lifetime and may have commissioned an artist to produce the large carved object. We do not know the exact date that the head was carved, but analysis of cultural remains within the tomb suggests that the burial, and accompanying grave goods, were deposited in the structure sometime between 600 and 650 A.D.
Weighing 9.75 pounds and standing almost 6 inches high, the jade head remains the single largest carved jade object yet discovered in the Maya area. Its crossed eyes, fang-like elements on either side of the mouth, and the ahau glyph on the forehead all identify the head as a representation of the Maya sun god Kinich Ahau. Along with Chac (rain god) and Yum Kax (corn god), Kinich Ahau was among the most important deities in the Maya pantheon.
The Kinich Ahau head is truly a remarkable object and exquisite work of art. It is the only one of its kind in all of Mesoamerica. Because it was carved with nothing more than stone tools, we know that it may have taken many months, if not years, to produce. It was also carved from one large solid piece of jade that was imported from the Motagua River Valley region of Guatemala. Jade was also the most precious of stones to the Maya. Beside its exotic origins, its green colour reflected that of water and the corn plant, the two most precious, life sustaining substances to the ancient Maya of northern Belize.
As it undoubtedly was to the prehistoric inhabitants of Altun Ha, the jade head continues to be a most important icon to the people of Belize today. It is prominently displayed on all Belize currency and has become an important symbol of our nation.
February 27th, 2013
Adrenaline junkies get ready for the ultimate adventure duo: Ziplining high above the jungle canopy and later floating through cavernous sanctuaries where Mayas once performed their sacred rituals with only your guide and headlamps to lead the way. Check out more details here.
February 20th, 2013
Wilbert has been with Ka’ana from the onset of the company in 2007, but has been a specialized tour guide even longer than that. He is an outgoing people-person who loves nature and the great outdoors (to say the least)! I caught up with him and shot off a few questions just before he headed off to his newest adventure of the day.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is showing off my beautiful country and sharing some of its secrets with guests the way I would with my own family. Knowing that many of them have never been in a jungle environment before makes me even more eager to teach them as well as learn a bit about the world they come from. Its a win-win situation.
What are some of the popular spots most people like and why?
ATM caves, Tikal, Xunantunich & Cave tubing are the most popular tours. People love it because they are having fun as well as learning even while they are immersing themselves in the Maya culture.
I’ve heard many guests comment that you are a walking encyclopedia. Where do you get your knowledge/inspiration?
(Laughing heartily) I believe my own grandfather is the real walking encyclopedia, I’ve learned so much from him while growing up right here in the heart of Maya country – and I am an actual Maya descendant! I add to my knowledge by reading history, watching documentaries on TV and believe it or not, also from my guests. I still truly believe that I learn something new everyday and my biggest inspiration – the love of my country, the land and my family.
I live by my own motto – “I do what I love, and I love what I do!”
February 13th, 2013
Get the very Best of Belize: Reef and Jungle, see the best way to do luxury in Belize here: http://tinyurl.com/6vf465j
January 7th, 2013
“You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.” -Buddha
December 18th, 2012
Ka’ana’s Yaxha Overnight
Thrill-seekers have the rare opportunity to spend the night on an ancient Mayan ruin in a luxury tent resembling a suite at Ka’ana, without having to sacrifice the comfort and amenities of the Belizean luxury resort. Ka’ana takes ‘glamping’ to the next level, beginning with a ride through the Belizean jungle next door into Guatemala’s Yaxha National Park. Enter the 1,100-year-old city just after dusk where an expert guide will lead guests to their meal prepared by a local Mayan cook at the base of the ruins.
After dinner, the guide will lead the ascent to highest temple where guests can enjoy views of the Guatemalan countryside while an archaeologist waxes historical about the intricate excavation of the Yaxah Temple. At the end of the evening, guests retire to their luxury digs — a replica of the rooms at Ka’ana, complete with a king-sized bed. The Morning After: Cross Lake Yaxha via boat to visit another, not-yet-excavated Topoxte Maya ruins. kaanabelize.com; packages starting at $2,000
T H E E X P E R I E N C E E D I T I O N
April 18th, 2012
We got to work with some very talented friends who came down from New York to check out Ka’ana’s version of Belize – and capture it on video.
From making clay pots with local Maya women, horseback riding through rivers, hanging out in private pool villas, swimming into – and exploring Maya caves (Including human remains!) to helicoptering over rivers and waterfalls… The list goes on, so let’s leave it to the photos!
Arriving In Style!
The View From The Helicopter, No Big Deal.
Chasing An Airboat On The Way To Lamanai!
Breaking-In The New Villas…
Luxury Tent At A Maya Ruin.
Our Genetically-Blessed Friends:
Spelunking The Maya Underworld!
Meeting The Locals At The Zoo.
April 10th, 2012
The Travel Channel spotlights Belize’s Great Blue Hole, a sinkhole off the coast of Belize a few hours away from us here at Ka’ana. A great diving spot to explore!
April 2nd, 2012
We couldn’t think of a better way to combine our love for cocktails and helping our local school, so we came up with The Succotz Cocktail: Sweet Corn and Banana Colada with a Choco Banana treat. All proceeds go to Succotz Primary School. Now who says a drinking habit is a bad thing?