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Uncovered in the tourist shops of the Yucatán: cartoon Mayans, glibly fucking each other afront the great architectural acheivement of their civilization, Chichen Itza, exquisitely rendered on a set of collectible shotglasses with the script, “Maya Sutra.”

So, is this kitschy Mexican representation of the nation’s native culture more or less offensive than one you might find in the United states?

The scenario reminded us of our own nation’s history. “Would we sell shot-glasses of Native American chiefs having sex with each other with full headdresses on, outside Indian reservations?” one of my travel companions asked.

I don’t know. Would we?

Native Americans selling conservationism

Native Americans selling American pastimes

Native Americans selling popcorn Actually, yes, we probably would do that.

“Perhaps,” my travel companion posited, “It is more acceptable to mock the Mayans in Mexico than it would be in the U.S. The civilization is lost. Few direct descendants of the Mayans remain.” She paused. “Well, I guess that’s because the Spanish killed all of them and took over their land.”

Sound familiar?

Perhaps, in actuality, the Mexican native sex shotglass artists and distributors of the world learned to commercialize their oppression from the best—-their neighbors to the North. After all, they’re only selling ’em because we buy ’em.