Stop by our spot in Flores for a wild game of Patolli Maya and a cup of real Maya coffee – the most popular coffee in Guatemala. Maya have been playing patolli for thousands of years. Some Maya scholars believe this game came from an ancient Indian traveler, possibly the legendary Itzamna, the Maya creator god.
Unlike the famous Maya ball game, all levels of Maya society played patolli – Maya kings to Maya peasants.
Patolli is an ancient Maya war board game of skill and chance played traditionally with corn, rocks or basically anything with two different colored sides that can be tossed and counted. It was such a popular game that the Spanish outlawed it when they arrived. Seems the Spanish priests were not happy seeing all the non-Catholic references and the Maya gamble themselves or their families into slavery over a game of patolli. Spaniards had an excellent, and typically tyrannical, method of dealing with any Maya they caught playing patolli, they’d burn their hands, sometimes the entire offending Maya and their patolli board, or cut their Maya hair. Oh well, better than having your intestines pulled out your butt, as they did to the Maya they caught engaged in homosexual ‘activities’. Wild Maya patolli in Flores – we won’t burn your hands 🙂