A video of a woman slithering up a Mayan pyramid has resurfaced and sparked a conversation about white people disrespecting sacred sites.
TikToker @themarccanthony posted a video Monday expressing outrage at a Jan. 3 news clip of a woman climbing a sacred Mayan pyramid.
The woman, whose race is unclear, was placed in the custody of municipal police, as climbing the pyramid is prohibited, according to Times Now Digital.
@themarccanthony’s video, which amassed over 1.5 million views and 393,000 likes since being posted, aims to explain the situation and why it is offensive to indigenous culture. @themarccanthony analyzes the video and explains that it is extremely disrespectful to slither up the pyramid, as the pyramid is specifically dedicated to the mesoamerican Serpent deity Kukulcan. “When will the colonizer learn to not go around disrespecting sacred indigenous sites?” the popular TikToker, who boasts over 30,000 followers, says.
The TikToker then speculates the woman got cursed or possessed. “See the way homegirl started slithering like a snake when she got up there? … Mess around and find out, ’cause she did,” the TikToker says, pointing to the Google search results for “Kukulcan.”
This repost of the video seems to come from BuzzFeed News but circulated among Mexican outlets at the time. The woman climbs about halfway before getting down on her stomach. Locals tell the woman to “get down!”
One voice says, “Something is going to take her.”
“Well this is an experience that she’s going to have for the rest of her life,” another says.
“She’s going to fall,” another concerned voice says.
A reporter providing commentary on the clip notes that “The truth is that nobody knows why she decided to climb up, especially like this.”
The incident reportedly occurred at the Chichen Itza archaeological site in the Mexican state of Yucatan. The ancient pyramid is known as the Temple of Kukulcan and is also called “El Castillo.” Reports of the woman scattering her husband’s ashes at the sacred site and being intoxicated were both denied by the National Institute of Anthropology and History. While the Mayan pyramids are now popular tourist attractions, they remain important religious sites for indigenous populations.
Many of the 5,231 commenters were similarly outraged at the woman’s disrespect of an indigenous religious site and agreed with @themarccanthony’s implication the woman was cursed by the temple’s serpent deity.
“This is so disrespectful, I showed my dad this video he is Mexican and also Aztec and he said that what she did will follow her forever,” says @caitlynn_motherofdragons.
“The sudden change from her crawling to slithering had such energy,” says @gabbers.
Daily Dot reached out to @themarccanthony for comment.
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*First Published: Sep 30, 2021, 11:58 am CDT
Clara is a full-time digital nomad writing about culture, food, and music. Her work has been featured in publications such as Refinery29, BuzzFeed, the Daily Dot, the Austin Chronicle, USA Today, and NiceKicks. She aims to be quicker on her feet than Borat’s lawyers.