Actual Jade Mayan Funerary Mask
|Type||Unexplained Undead Mystery, Demon|
|First Sighting||200 AD|
|Country||Southern North America|
"I was thinking about countries where crypto creatures are said to inhibit," writes Gerald H. "I started with Canada and the Ogopogo, onto the U.S. with the Mothman and the Jersey Devil, then continued with Scotland's Loch Ness and Australia's Yowie. Then I got to Egypt and thought of the mummy. But wait! Have there ever actually been stories of people claiming to see mummies walking around the Nile? I know there were old monster movies from the '40s and '50s of mummies, and stories of archaeologists who got sick and died after they went into King Tut's tomb, but have there ever been any mummy sightings reported?"
The answer is Mayan Mummies.
Mayan Funerary Rituals and Mesoamerican Mummification
Death rituals were an important part of Maya religion. The Maya greatly respected death; they were taught to fear it and grieved deeply for the dead. They also believed that certain deaths were more noble than others. The Maya were a ritualistic people, who paid great respect to the destructive nature of their gods. They had many traditions to commemorate the recently deceased and worship long-departed ancestors.
People who died by suicide, sacrifice, complications of childbirth and in battle were thought to be transported directly into heaven.
Before Spanish influence, there may not have been a common idea of the afterlife. The Yucatec Maya believed that there were different routes after death. A pot from a Pacal tomb depicts ancestors of Maya kings sprouting through the earth like fruit trees and together creating an orchard. The Maya had several forms of ancestor worship. They built idols containing ashes of the dead and brought them food on festival days. Alternatively, a temple could be built over an urn. The most common way of sacrifice was cutting the abdomen, and taking out the heart.
There have been many archaeological discoveries of lavish tombs within ceremonial complexes from the Classic period. However, only a Maya city’s most important ruler was buried in this way. These aristocrats were placed in tombs at the bottoms of funerary pyramids that sometimes consisted of nine stepped platforms, perhaps symbolizing the nine layers of the underworld. Other temples were constructed with 13 vaults the symbolizing the layers of the heavens in Maya cosmology. These temples reflected the continued worship of these nobles. In some instances, members of the royal family or young attendants would be sacrificed to accompany the lord in death.
The tombs were filled with precious goods including fine polychrome pottery, effigy figurines, jade and marble pieces, masks, mushroom figures. While these figures were found in Maya tombs, many of these items were also used in the service of food, drink and for additional ritual purposes. Obsidian and exotic shells have also been found in Mayan tombs. In the Tomb of the Red Queen inside Temple XIII in Palenque, the remains of a noble woman and all the objects inside the sarcophagus were completely covered with bright red vermilion dust, made of ground cinnabar, perhaps intended to suggest blood, the symbol of life.
Other elite members of society were buried in vaults. The bodies of higher-ranking members of society were buried inside sarcophagi. They sometimes were buried in crypts or underneath the family home. These funerary constructions of the royal often destroyed the residence itself. Commoners were also buried near or under their houses. These graves did not have extensive burial offerings, but often contained objects that identified the individual: a tool or possession.
San Pedro Mountains Mummy
In October 1932, while digging for gold in the San Pedro mountains, Carbon County, Wyoming, two prospectors, Cecil Mayne and Frank Carr, blasted their way through some thick rock that a large vein of gold continued into. When the dust settled, they saw they had opened up a small room, approximately 4 ft tall, 4 ft wide, and about 15 ft deep. This is where they claimed that they first saw the mummy of a tiny person.
Pedro the mummy was found sitting in an upright position with his arms crossed, covering its crossed legs. It sat perpendicular to the floor on a small ledge in the room. It weighed approximately 12 ounces and was around 7 inches tall sitting, and 14 inches tall (estimated) standing. Its cranium was flattened, the eyes bulging and so well preserved that even the fingernails were visible. The head was covered in a dark, gelatinous substance, leading some to accuse Mayne and Carr of perpetrating a hoax using an infant from a medical collection, since some of the mummy appeared to have been preserved in liquid.
Also called the Nimerigar, Native American legends, mainly the Shoshone tribe, speak of an aggressive race of "little people" which ranged in height from around 20 inches to 3 1/2 feet tall. According to Native American lore they lived in the San Pedro Mountains in south central Wyoming and fought constantly with the average sized humans of the area using poisoned arrows. It was often said that if one of the Nimerigar became sick or old, they were killed by their own people with a blow to the head. It was also said that the little mummies brought bad luck to anyone who found them, and to this day Native Americans warn people of the tribe of "tiny people eaters" that roam the San Pedro Mountain Range of Wyoming. Most of these claims were considered folklore until the discovery of what is now known as "Pedro" the mummy.
Other alleged discoveries, like that of the 1876 discovery of a "pygmy" graveyard in Coffee County, Tennessee, has some people saying that a race of pygmy people ranged all over the United states, and they often use Pedro the mummy as the proof. A man plowing his field supposedly found graves that were 2 feet long, 14 inches wide, and 18 inches deep. Other explanations have been offered for the burials, that they were of children or disarticulated people. The Cherokee had a legend of little people who lived in mountains, came up to an average sized persons knee and were quite nice unless you disturbed their homes. There are many Native American stories about little people. The Pedro mummy famously disappeared, leading to many theories about this unexplained mystery.
Fairfield, Texas Mummy
KPRC has announced that residents in Fairfield, Texas are living in fear ever since a figure, which has been described as a “mummy,” began rearing its head in their neighborhood.
Cypress homeowner Jon Hill — who called the police after claiming to have seen the entity in the front yard of his home on Chestnut Falls Drive in Fairfield — which is located in Cypress — described the being:
“(It had) bandages, like a mummy. He looked like a mummy. It’s scary not knowing what this man is up to or what he wants.”
Other neighbors said they are also concerned about this “thing” and have notified the police. They claim it’s been spotted on more than one occasion. Local resident Steven Scheiffele had this to say:
“It’s creepy, especially since he’s here in the neighborhood with the kids and stuff.” Harris County sheriff’s deputies recommended that homeowners who see what they assert is merely a man dressed as a mummy in their yard call 911 immediately.