Mayan Civilization Essay

Submitted By Sweettea270
Words: 1579
Pages: 7

Mayan Civilization
Bowling Green Technical College

Here is the story of the beginning,
When there was not one bird, not one fish, not one mountain.
Here is the sky, all alone.
Here is the sea, all alone.
There is nothing more
-no sound, no movement.
Only the sky and the sea.
Only Heart-of-Sky, alone.
And these are his names:
Maker and Modeler,
and Hurricane.
But there is no one to speak his names.
There is no one to praise his glory.
There is no one to nurture his greatness. From the Popol Vu
Translation by Dennis Tedlock

The Mayan had a unique culture and civilization that existed for almost 3000 year. Even thought the Maya people did not disappear but dispersed, they left many answered questions. This paper many hope shade light on some of the unknown. Today, the Maya and their descendants form sizable populations throughout the Maya area and maintain a distinctive set of traditions and beliefs that are the result of the merger of pre-Columbian and post-Conquest ideas and cultures. We will discuss their government, their potions and who held the post of leader. They also had a will developed class structure. We will even go into what they may have had for dinner. With all of their beautiful art and architecture, no one can forget the Maya temples. Maya even made sport part of rituals. The paper will take a look in to their worship beliefs and the end of all time. With the Mayan you can get a little of something with everything.

Unlike the Aztec, the ancient Maya were not empire builders. Instead, they formed independent polities. Their common culture, calendar, mythology and spiritual view of the world united them as Maya – True People. The Mayan had 35 separate City-states that formed a vast trade empire in pre-Classical Mesoamerica. They thrived in the Yucatatan Peninsula and the surrounding areas. Mayan culture stated to develop around 2000 BCE, most of it’s’ cities rising to their highest point around 250 BCE to 900 AD. They had a population of around 2 million. This started to decline with the arrival of the Spanish settlers in the Classical Period. ( Maya Government was a hereditary absolute monarchy for each City-state. The term K’ul ahau (Supreme or sacred ruler) was designated to each heads of state. The K’ul ahau has a close union of the spiritual and temporal elements. The hereditary high priest is consulted by the monarch on all important matters, besides having the care of ritual and ceremonials. Under the Nobles you had the commoners. They were farmers, artisans, and merchants; they paid taxes and military service, and each had his interest in the common land as well as his individual portion, which descended in the family. Surfs worked this farm. They allowed to build homes and take part of the food to feed their families. Slavery also existed, the slaves being mainly prisoners and unwanted children. Slaves were usually sacrificed when their owners died so they could continue their service after death. Four people would a limb and the preist how cut the heart on or they may have been tied to a stake, and spears thrown at their heart.
The Mayans were expert and determined warriors, using the bow and arrow, the dart with throwing-stick, the wooden sword edged with flints, the lance, sling, copper axe, shield of reeds, and protective armor of heavy quilted cotton. They understood military tactics and signaling with drum and whistle, and knew how to build barricades and dig trenches. Noble prisoners were usually sacrificed to the gods, while those of ordinary rank became slaves. Their object in war was rather to make prisoners than to kill. ( The Mayans were also skilled farmers, clearing large sections of tropical rain forest and, where groundwater was scarce, building sizeable underground reservoirs for the storage of rainwater. The Maya were equally skilled as