This is bone cleaning in Pomuch, Campeche

The commemoration of the Married to Mexico it is a tradition that transcends boundaries and attracts attention in the world. This is the bone cleaning in Pomuch, Campeche.

POMUCH, Campeche.— The celebrations of the Faithfully departed and with them numerous traditions come to light across the country and the Yucatan Peninsula is no exception, to the extent that they attract attention in Mexico and the world.

One of them occurs in the villa de Pomuch, On Campeche, where the inhabitants commemorate an age-old tradition every year, the “Cleaning the Sacred Bones”.


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“Choo ba’ak”

Mentioned population, belonging to the Municipality of Hecelchakán, has become known to the world thanks to the cleaning bones of those who have advanced, in the celebration mentioned in the Maya “choo ba’ak”.

This ceremony takes place on the eve of the days of the deceased believers, according to Don Venancio Tuz Chio, with over 30 years of service in place.

Aspects of the traditional “Cleansing of the Sacred Bones”, which takes place in Pomuch, Campeche.- (Photo: Alix Ycté)
Aspects of the traditional “Cleansing of the Sacred Bones”, which takes place in Pomuch, Campeche.- (Photo: Alix Ycté)
Aspects of the traditional “Cleansing of the Sacred Bones”, which takes place in Pomuch, Campeche.- (Photo: Alix Ycté)
Aspects of the traditional “Cleansing of the Sacred Bones”, which takes place in Pomuch, Campeche.- (Photo: Alix Ycté)
Aspects of the traditional “Cleansing of the Sacred Bones”, which takes place in Pomuch, Campeche.- (Photo: Alix Ycté)
Aspects of the traditional “Cleansing of the Sacred Bones”, which takes place in Pomuch, Campeche.- (Photo: Alix Ycté)
Aspects of the traditional “Cleansing of the Sacred Bones”, which takes place in Pomuch, Campeche.- (Photo: Alix Ycté)



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‘during this’holy days’ Pomuchenses come and go from the cemetery to clean and decorate the family ossuary for their deceased. Cleaning bones prior to Hanal Pixan, which means in Maya’eat souls“It’s a ritual that has been going on for many years,” added Tuz Chi.

This religious, mystical and age-old tradition is of utmost importance to the inhabitants of the region, as it not only catapults this city before the eyes of the world, but also allows its cultural heritage to defy time generation after generation.

For the inhabitants of Pomuch, “the dead live by memory“And only in this way can they pay tribute to their memory so as not to forget them.

Bone cleaning

The man who serves as gravedigger, points out that at least three years must pass before the remains can be removed, divided and transported to the ossuary.

Later, the bone remains can be “washed”, doing it earlier is not recommended.

He noted that he performed this ceremony of cleaning the bones of babies who have lost their lives.

“When the time comes, the relative or in this case I, with great affection and respect, dust bone by bone, I arrange them in a hand-embroidered cloth, usually with figures of angels and flowers, next to the name of the deceased,” said Venancio Tuz.


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“Finally, I put the relics in a box, usually made of wood that eventually adorns it with natural or artificial flowers, as well as candles that, according to the belief, will light the path of the deceased,” explains Tuz Chi.

According to Venancio Tuz, up to four generations of relatives are gathered in the pantheon for this ritual. Prior to this celebration, the family members ask permission from the congregation to perform this “act of love” that has become something typical of this community.

The celebrations of the deceased culminate on November 1 and 2, when Mass is celebrated in the cemetery and families arrive very promptly and happily as they go to receive their deceased.

Winston Ferguson

"Total travelaholic. Subtly charming zombie geek. Friend of animals everywhere. Music buff. Explorer. Tv junkie."

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