The Mayas Lifestyle Essay

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The Mayas Lifestyle

The Life of the Ancient Maya’s

The Maya’s were an ancient civilization that faced many difficult tasks in their everyday lives that needed to be completed in order for survival. The Mayan tribes existed from about 400 BC until around 1524 when they were taken over by the Spanish conquistadors (Sharer p.3). They occupied three separate areas of land.

The Southern area covers present day Guatemala. The central area stretched from what is now Tabasco to northern Guatemala. Finally the central region makes up a lot of the southern portion of Mexico (Coe p.31). The Maya’s believed that the universe was not the first, but the 7th. Floods destroyed all the other worlds. This one began on 4 Ahaw 8 Kumk’u
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Also if a man was walking down the road the women had to step aside out of his way and turn their backs (Sharer p.119). The men continued to live in the group houses until they were appointed or found a bride (Sharer p.120). Before the men were married though they were only allowed to paint themselves in black paint but, once they were married they were allowed to paint themselves in every color and were expected to tattoo their bodies (Thompson p.118). The bride’s father was expected to pay for the entire ceremony. Most times marriages were arranged while the children were still young (Sharer p.120).

The Birth of children was one of the most looked upon ceremonies amongst the Maya’s. When a baby was born his mother would wash him right away and then fasten him to a cradle. This served as a baptism (Laughton p.98). The “Shaman” who conducted the ceremony determined each child’s “paal kaba” given name (Sharer p.118). When male babies were about 4 months old and 3 months for girls, the “Hetzmek” was performed. This was a ceremony celebrating the first time that the baby is carried at the mother’s hip (Sharer p.118). At age 4 girls were given a red shell to tie around their waist. Boys wore a white bead. These accessories were worn until the child reached puberty (Sharer pgs.118-119). When the Maya went through puberty he was considered an adult. At this time he was given 2 names, one from the mother and one from the father. Only the father’s were
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