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Each Spring Equinox, March 21, some 70,000 people from around the world come to the ancient ceremonial center of Chichen Itza to watch triangles of light and shadow form on the K'uk'ulkan Pyramid and descend from its temple to the ground, with the final triangle illuminating the head of a giant stone serpent.
Photographer David Alexander Bjorkman and writer Victoria Thomas spent five consecutive years at Spring Equinox documenting this spectacle of light and shadow and its affect on people, from the seriously ill hoping for a miracle to the mostly curious, who come to participate in the ritual.
Chichen Itza, in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, has been attracting pilgrims since it was built by the Itza Maya in the 800s. Its 100-foot-tall K'uk'ulkan Pyramid, recognized throughout the world on television and in print, has become the symbol of Pre-Columbian Mexico, and is now designated as one of the Seven Wonders of the New World.
Many people who come to witness the light and shadow spectacle believe it represents the ancient wisdom of the Maya and links the Sun with the pyramid and in turn with those who are present. The ancient Maya believed the cycles of Time repeat, and that this cycle of Time, which began on August 13, 3114 BCE, will come to an end on December 21, 2012 CE. Is this why so many people are once again flocking to Chichen Itza?
Since 1996 photographer David Alexander Bjorkman and writer Victoria Thomas have worked exclusively in the Maya Yucatan region of Mexico documenting the rebuilding of the Maya pyramids at a pace not seen in over a thousand years. They have produced five books, seven photo essays and a Museum Photographic Exhibit documenting the emergence of the 3,000-year-old Maya Ballgame into modern times.
Características y detalles
During his career, David Björkman has worked as a photojournalist, war photographer, art director, Minimalist Color Field painter, fine arts instructor, collage artist, book illustrator, and book publisher. As a photojournalist, he has been smuggled across borders at night and survived a chopper being shot out from under him. His photographs have been published in magazines in over 20 countries. To complete a book project, he slept on the floor of a Lakota Sioux medicine man's house for weeks at a time. He met writer Victoria Thomas while on assignment to document the Explorer's Club Chagres River expedition, (Flag 172), into the Darien Gap of Panama, to undertake an archaeological survey of a Chocó settlement, and to collect Chocó artifacts for the Smithsonian Institution. This settlement belonged to Chocó Chief Antonio Zarco, who taught the original U.S. Apollo astronauts jungle survival in case their capsule landed in the tropics on reentry. Together they founded Zone913, Inc.