Mayan Religion

6 June 2017

Mayan texts describe religious rituals, astronomy, and divination, and are the most valuable source of information on the ancient civilization. The most famous of these texts is the Popol Vuh (1554-1558), which was written in Quich©, a highland Maya language, nd translated into Spanish by a priest. It tells the mythology and cosmology of the Post classic Guatemalan Maya, and shows central Mexican influences. That’s why it is the most famous text. Also the Mayan calendar is very important because it consists of a solar year of 365 days. It was divided into 18 months of 20 days each, followed by a five-day time period.

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There was also a 260-day sacred year (tzolkin), divided into days named by the combination of 13 numbers and 20 names. The Mayan religion can be connected to other religions such as Christianity, there were texts written 1,500 years after Christ. Also, “Characteristics of this ruler are that he was born of a virgin, that he promised to return, that he had an association with the planet Venus (the Morning and Evening Star), and that his emblem was the Feathered Serpent (presumably connected to the non-feathered, brazen serpent raised by Moses to heal the Israelites”. Wirth) During the research I found many interesting facts that described the Mayan religion well and made it much more interesting than other religions I had heard about before. The most interesting facts for me were that Apocalypto the movie was based n ancient Mayan life and all the actors were local indigenous Mayan actors. As well as other interesting facts such as; “One of the many intriguing things about the Maya was their ability to build a great civilization in a tropical rainforest climate.

Traditionally, ancient peoples had flourished in drier climates, where the centralized management of water resources (through irrigation and other techniques) formed the basis of society. ” (The Rise and fall of The Mayan Empire) As I researched further into the religion I found more things that made this religion stand out to me. ” Excavations of Maya sites have unearthed plazas, palaces, temples and pyramids, as well as courts for playing the ball games that were ritually and politically significant to Maya culture.

Maya cities were surrounded and supported by a large population of farmers. Though the Maya practiced a primitive type of “slash-and-burn” agriculture, they also displayed evidence of more advanced farming methods, such as irrigation and terracing. ” (The Rise and fall of the Mayan Empire) “By the late 20th century, researchers had concluded that the climate of the lowlands was in fact quite environmentally diverse.

Though foreign invaders were disappointed by the region’s relative lack of silver and gold, the Maya took advantage of the area’s many natural resources, including limestone (for construction), the volcanic rock obsidian (for tools and weapons) and salt. The environment also held other treasures for the Maya, nobility) and marine shells, which were used as trumpets in ceremonies and warfare. ” (The Rise and fall of the Mayan Empire) Overall I found this religion to be interesting and there was a lot of good material on how the religion came about as well as how it came to its end.

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