History of Mayan Culture

1499 WordsMar 9, 20116 Pages
History of Mayan Culture The mysterious culture of ancient Maya once covered a vast geographic area in Central and South America. Their civilization extended to parts of what are now Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador, and most of Guatemala and Belize. The Mayans first settled in 1500BC. The Mayans environment consisted of tropical rainforests, which was also one of their main sources of resources, they turned the jungles into great cities. The rainforest would provide them with food, clothing, weapons, tools, and many more useful items. It rained almost everyday, but the temperature was not cold at least in the daytime. The environment played a major role in what the Mayans culture became, they needed rain and heat to survive both the…show more content…
Each large city had one supreme chief who ruled for life, upon his death a son or brother took over. In some cases wife took over. If no family successor was available a new ruler was selected from the upper class. Crime was also an issue for the Mayans. Criminals were punished in different ways according to what they had done. A thief would become the servant of his victim. Murderers were put to death, sometimes as part of ritual sacrifices. For minor crimes, hair was cut as a sign of disrespect. There were also class separations like the ruling class and the common people. Warriors were a separate class themselves too. In battle the Mayans fought with wooden clubs, flint knives, spears, and slingshots. Weapons and tools were made from bone, parts of animals, soil, stone, metal/copper, and wood. RELIGION The Mayans were very religious people; their religion regulated almost everything in their life. Priests were the most important people in the tribes. The Mayans believed their gods had destroyed and recreated their earth several times that is why they always tried to please their gods with sacrifices. Each God represented something for them. Their Supreme Being and creator of the universe was called “ Hunan Ku “. The next important gods were the sun and moon gods. “ Kinich Ahau “ was the sun god. They
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