During the Maya Classic Period, the typical small kingdom (ajawil, ajawlel, ajawlil) was ruled by a hereditary ruler called an “Ajaw” (later “k’uhul Ajaw”). An Ajaw or Ahau ( 'Lord ') is a political title attested from the epigraphic inscriptions of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization.
Ajaw is also the 20th named day on the tzolk 'in (divinatory calendar) when an Ajaw 's (ruler) was required to fulfill the k 'atun-ending rituals. These rituals fell upon the leader and required ritualistic self sacrifice, usually in the form of bloodletting.
The use and meaning of "Ajaw" was used generically for "lord", "ruler", "king" or "leader", which meant any of the leading or ruling class of nobles. However, it was not limited to a single individual, as rule of a given was sometimes shared. Additionally, because the Ajaw performed religious activities, the title was not only given to the ruler, but also to a designated member of the locality or city-state 's priesthood.
The variation of ajaw is the “kuhul ajaw,” ("divine lord") which is the title for a sovereign leader of a given kingdom or city-state. Even though the extent of the territory that was controlled by an ajaw varied considerably and the title could also be for individuals, who in theory, recognized the lordship over another person, dynasty, kingdom, or city-state. Ajaw was used by the Maya as Lord was used by the Europeans as a title for anyone tha...
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...ality of the royal household, especially towards the ruler of that household. Most kingdoms were built around the ruling house. Spanish sources invariably describe even the largest Maya settlements of Yucatán and Guatemala areas as being dispersed collections of dwellings that were grouped around the temples and palaces of the ruling dynasty or nobles.
Some researchers argue that Maya cities were structured in such a way that were not actually meant be urban centers; but more to meet the needs of the enormous royal households when they conducted their administrative and ritual activities in the royal courts. These courts held the priesthood as well as the nobility, as their court functions often went hand in hand.
Scribes also held a prominent position in Maya royal courts. They even had their own patron deities, such as the Howler Monkey Gods and Maya maize god.
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