In the ancient Mayan civilization, it was believed that all buildings were living beings. From thatched roof huts
to pyramids. The physical proportions of their buildings
often employed the "golden mean", and certain areas of each building were meant to represent the parts of a body.
But they didn't just intend to physically model nature and
life with their buildings. They also engaged in ceremonial
dedications that were intended to ensoul each building.
These ceremonies consisted of making statements to
dedicate the home or building; and of making offerings to
it. Precious items such as jade, dye, cloth, and
severed animal heads would be buried under the floor in key
areas throughout a building. Each offering would be
symbolic of whichever part of a body the point in the
building represented. Also note that the soul of a building
was often replenished, and some offerings and dedications
were repeated over time.
For example, in the central axis of a home was built a
hearth. At this location, the women in a family would
prepare and cook every meal. This part of a building is
like the umbilicus of a human being. It's directly
related to satisfying the nutritional needs of the body.
(At least while we're in our mother's wombs.) To match
this symbolism, the umbilical cord of every child
born into a household was buried at, near, or under this
hearth. This replenished the soul of the home, and
specifically its ability to provide nourishment.
Due to this tradition, the ancient Maya used the
expression "Where is your umbilicus buried?" to ask
someone where they were from. (Their place of birth.)
Among some of the modern descendents of the Maya, this
expression is still used today.
So if you're ever asked this question, don't freak out as
if you've just met Hannibal Lecter. It doesn't mean