The Ancient Mayan Civilization : A Rigid Social Structure

1627 Words7 Pages
The Ancient Mayan Civilization was built upon a rigid social structure based on their religious beliefs. They used a caste social structure in which divisions were based on wealth, inherited rank, privilege, profession, or occupation. Their beliefs were based on the fact that nature elements had the power to either help or harm. The Ancient Mayans used their social structure and beliefs to shape their daily lives. The Mayans were a very religious. They believed in many gods and all events centered around their religious beliefs. In their belief system, the gods would bring the rain, heal the sick, bring plentiful harvests and make sure the health and safety of the people if they were honored. If the gods were angry, they believed that the gods would send disasters to their people like droughts throughout their region. In order to keep the gods happy, they believed that a daily sacrifice of blood was necessary. They would open a wound on their body and let the blood drip on paper. Kings would also offer their blood to please the gods. The paper would be burned in an offering to the gods. The Mayans worshipped their ancestors as if they were gods. It was believed that the priests could see the spirits in the smoke. When a king or nobleman died, the Mayan people believed that he became one with the gods and would go to live in the sky with them. The dead were buried with food, tools, clothing, and whatever would be needed for their journey. Tombs were built to bury their
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