Hacienda Colors: The History of Maya Blue

Maya blue was the color of Chaak, the rain god. It seemed fitting while renovating Hacienda Petac, that we include the pigment within the Chapel. As you can see below, it became the Chapel’s most striking element.


Maya is a remarkable turquoise-blue pigment blue that was used in the Classic (AD 250 to 900) and Post-Classic (10th to 16th Century) Period of Maya civilization. Although the exact date is unknown, some archeologists estimate that it was first produced around 300 AD. The Mayans used this beautiful color to paint offerings, murals, pottery and the bodies of humans before ritual sacrifices.


The most notable quality of Maya blue is that it resists damage from age, acid and weathering. That is one of the key reasons why this pigment has mystified scientists and archeologists for years. Research on Maya blue’s composition began in the 1950s when chemists used powder diffraction to discover its basic components. So, you might be wondering, how did the Mayans make it? Researchers discovered that the blue pigment was created before rituals by combining indigo plant and palygorskite (a natural clay) in ceramic bowls at temperatures between 150 and 200 degrees.


Today, you can find plenty of examples of Maya blue in restored Haciendas around the Yucatán. Hacienda Petac has touches of Maya blue throughout the home; it can be found in the Chapel, bedrooms, bathrooms and the décor. The color symbolizes the deep history of the Yucatán.

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Cenotes of The World and The Yucatán

Cenotes are beautiful and mysterious. You may have seen pictures of these intriguing turquoise pools of water in the Yucatán. Take a look at the infographic below. You’ll discover a number of surprising facts—from why the Maya used them for human sacrifices to the name and location of the largest, deepest cenote in the world.


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