Maya Religious Beliefs

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Ellis: Government Religious Practices Important achievement- architecture Religious Practices and Government: Religion was very important part of Mayan life- worshipped many gods or goddesses Variety of religious festivals and celebrations- human sacrifice The Mayan empire was divided into many independent city-states; each city-state had its own ruler named the halach uinic, or “the true or real man.” The city-states consisted of rural communities with urban ceremonial centers. The Mayans believed the halach was a living god and ruled until he died. His oldest son became the next halach; if he didn’t have a son, his brother would rule. If he had no brothers, the ruler’s elected council would choose a member of his family to serve. Historians believe that the halach served as the high priest during religious ceremonies.…show more content…
Mayan cities were surrounded by a large population of farmers that helped the economy. The golden age of the Mayan empire included 40 cities, including Tikal, Copán, and Uaxactún. Mayans built causeways (raised roads) over swampy areas about 2-4 feet off the ground. Used carved stone for the main buildings on the city- carved stone with simple stone tools. They moved stones around with manpower- didn’t use animals or wheeled vehicles. Used a cement made of limestone provided mortar to hold the stones in place Spread limestone cement or stucco over stones to give the buildings smooth surfaces and then painted the buildings with bright colors Built many of their temples and palaces in a stepped pyramid shape, decorating them with elaborate artwork and inscriptions- these structures have earned the Maya their reputation as the greatest artists of Mesoamerica Advanced cultural traits such as pyramid building, city construction, and the inscribing of stone

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