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tj Hoffman | all galleries >> travel_adventures >> TIKAL.El Petén > Ceiba Tree or Yaaxché in the Maya Language
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Ceiba Tree or Yaaxché in the Maya Language

The Ceiba tree has been grown among the ruins for centuries to provide shade and food for the human inhabitants. Also a source of a cotton-like fiber.

This magnificent tree, one of the largest in the Central American Rainforest, is a very straight light gray barked tree with a unique flat top crown. Its huge butressed roots provide shelter for bats, and the transition from the underworld to the "middle ground" and then to the heavens. The "middle ground" is populated by huge anteaters that claw into the large termite nests in the branches. The crown is very special indeed. The branches radiate out almost horizontally, forming a perfect roost site above the canopy for the magnificent Harpie Eagle, the largest eagle. It soars aloft from this roost across the canopy in search of small game , which can also include some large catches such as anteaters and monkies. It is the Mayan symbol for God of the Heavens, as the bat is their symbol for God of the Underworld.

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