The Inspirations from the Mayan Ballgame

1515 Words Feb 26th, 2015 7 Pages
The Pre-Columbian peoples of the Mesoamerican area are a population that has since fascinated historians and archaeologists to this day. Exploration and investigation has brought to light the great advancements these civilizations made in the areas of art, technology, and even astronomy. By means of examining and analyzing the remains, the massive structures and artifacts left behind by the early people of these civilizations, we have come to know of their rich culture and traditions. One group that we know a great deal of, the Classic Maya, exhibited a culture that was not only sophisticated and ahead of its time, but also one of great art and rituals. What was of great significance to these people was the Mayan Ballgame. The …show more content…
These Lords stand for all that is bad. Death, disease, sadness – everything is now restricted to the Underworld. According to the Popol Vuh, after their defeat “only the worthless will yield themselves before [the Lords].” No longer would the Lords torment randomly, only those that deserve it. This tale teaches the Mayans to act morally. The Twins exhibit qualities of virtue and devotion and were even resurrected into the heavens. This gives the Mayan people a reason to act in a way the Twins would have, in hopes gaining everlasting life with the gods. This tale of the first ballgame played, between Lords and gods, is a tale that teaches the Mayans the proper way to behave, and has taught historians of the higher powers that guide their actions. The Popol Vuh tells the origins of the ballgame, and it is so significant to the people that it is ritualized for generations.
The Mayan ballgame is also important in that it was crucial in their rituals and civilization, being almost at the center of Mayan culture. According to the article written by Friedel, Schele, and Parker, the ballgame served as ritual ceremony – a reenactment of the first ballgames ever played between the Hero Twins and the Lords of the Underworld. The authors stated that players would wear headdresses and godly symbols personifying the gods or Dieties. The players represented
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