Almost every aspect of Maya life was centered on religion. These ancient Mesoamerican peoples worshipped many gods and goddesses; this was part of their daily lives, despite class differences in their sophisticated society. Religion served as a basis for the government and social life. Priests and shamans played an important role in their government, conducted religious ceremonies, and made sacrifices to the gods. The Maya believed in the supernatural, and used this belief to explain life and their universe.
A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya. William Morrow. New York. SCHELE, L. and P. MATHEWS (1991). Royal Visits and Other Intersite Relationships Among the Classic Maya.
The Maya Civilization The ancient Maya once occupied a vast geographic area in Central America. Their civilization inhabited an area that encompasses Mexico's Yucatan peninsula and parts of the states of Chiapas and Tabasco, as well as Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. "From the third to the ninth century, Maya civilization produced awe-inspiring temples and pyramids, highly accurate calendars, mathematics and hieroglyphics, and a complex social and political order" ("Collapse..." 1). Urban centers were important to the Maya during the Classic period; they offered the Mayans a central place to practice religion. The Mayan culture can be traced back to 1500 BC, entering the Classic period about 300 AD and flourishing between 600 and 900 AD.
All of the indigenous people that made up the Mesoamerican culture were not very unified, but they did share an immense interest in what each tribe was inventing. They also agreed upon religious beliefs and practices, and through this common interest was how the indigenous people unified the use of the Mesoamerican calendar. The calendrics served as an essential means by which Mesoamericans organized and conceived of their world (The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Mexico and the Maya 32). They used the calendar for many religious rituals as well as picking the date upon which the rituals would fall. In order for us to understand these uses, we have to know exactly what the calendar consists of.
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Aztec Culture. http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/cultural/mesoamerica/ aztec.html.18 November 2003. Hand out 9- Main Themes for Anthropology 120 Revision Roberts Jr., Frank H. H. Indians of the Americas. National Geographic C. 1958. Washington D.C. Bernal Diaz: The Conquest of New Spain "Encomiendas."
Reilly III, F. Kent. “Art, Ritual, and Rulership in the Olmec World.” In The Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica, eds. Michael E. Smith and Marilyn A. Masson, 369-399. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2000. Valdes, Juan Antonio.
Maya has an extensive religion structure which we can not know in details. Chac and Itzamna are the most famous gods of Mayan culture. Hunahpu and Xbalanque are among the most interesting mythical characters. One of the most crucial gods was Tlaloc, who was worshiped in various guises by the culture of Teotihuacan, the Toltec of Tula, and later Aztecs. The Maya received the cult of Tlaloc during the 4th century more or less.