Camden Courier-Post – June 10, 1933
Maya Indians Spend Most of Time Fighting Over Women, Explorer Says
New York- Count Byron De Prorok, who excavated the ruins of Carthage, has returned to New York from the wilds of Central America with a tale of a “lost tribe” of Maya Indians who spent the greater part of their time fighting over women.
This tribe – the Lacandons – constitutes the last fading remnant of the great Mayan civilization and, according to Count Prorok, cannot survive for long. There are about ten villages scattered over a huge territory where Yucatan borders Mexico. The men outnumber the women by at least six to one and as a consequence each village is perennially at war with the rest.
Count Prorok, a tall, handsome young Frenchman who has been famous as an archaeologist since he was 20, also reported the discovery of a great tomb which he will explore further and which he believes will be the “King Tut tomb of America.” He is convinced that the great mound holds the bones and the treasure of Guatemoc, nephew of Montezuma and last of the Aztec emperors.
Legs Burned Off
Guatemoc was captured by Cortez, the explorer explained, and at Mexico City the last of the emperors was tortured. The men of Cortez burned his legs off in an effort to learn the hiding place of the treasure.
Cortez took Guatemoc with him on the southward march, aiming at the conquest of all South America. At a point some 1200 miles south of Mexico City, however, Guatemoc was hanged, and the Indians were given his body. It was here that they built the tomb for their last leader, according to the legend. Count Prorok and his fellow explorers believe the tomb may hold immense treasures and they will go after it before the year is out.
The Lacandon Indians live near this tomb. They live in thatched huts or in the trees, and their most formidable weapon is the poisoned arrow. The poison is obtained from a certain tree, which is tapped, the arrows being stuck into the gashes of the trees.
The shortage of women has been acute for centuries, the explorers believe, and because of inbreeding, the race has degenerated into a tribe of pygmies, little more intelligent than animals. The Lacandons are monogamous, however, though it is a common custom for a tribesman to marry his own mother or grandmother, Count Prorok said.
Only 1000 Left
Cortez calculated that there are at least 1,000,000 of these Lacandons, but Count Prorok’s expedition discovered that only about 1000 are left. Being constantly at war with one another, this number is decreasing and in the end, the explorers believe the tribe will disappear altogether.
The Indians have their own language and their religion is apparently an offshoot of the Mayan religion. They pray to the sun and the rain gods and burn incense. They have small temples, but the explorers were not permitted to enter them and most of their inquiries concerning the religion went unanswered. It is known however, that in the time of Cortez, the Lacandons were cannibals.
Count Prorok, who used three planes on his expedition, convinced the Indians that his group meant them no harm by loading them down with cheap presents, most of which were purchased in five-and-ten-cent stores.