The Maya And The Beliefs Of The Mayan

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The Maya were one of the most sophisticated cultures in the western hemisphere before the Spanish arrived. They are a native Mesoamerican people. Their religion worshiped primarily nature gods, such as the sun god, the rain god, and the corn god. They were also well known for their importance of astronomy and astrology, also ritualistic human sacrifices. The Mayans also were very well renowned for building pyramids and temples. The Mayan religion was founded in c. 250 A.D. and located in Mesoamerica, which is southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize (Mayan 1). They also liked to stay near or around tropical lowlands like Guatemala. The Maya did really well in producing agriculture, pottery, hieroglyphic writing, calendar-making and mathematics. Most of the cities that the Maya lived in were made of stone and were abandoned around 900 A.D. (Maya 1). Today, most people living in the western hemisphere can date their heritage back to the Maya (Jarus 1). The earliest accounts of the Maya date all the way back to 1800 B.C. They were very agricultural, growing all different types of crops, such as maize, beans, and squash. This time period was identified as the pre-classic period. The Pre-classic Maya displayed great abilities of pyramid-building, construction of cities and inscribing of stone monuments (Maya 2-3). Sometime after 900 A.D., their culture declined and their cities were abandoned. The cities were thought to have been depopulated and the remaining amount of Mayans, were captured by the Spanish and converted to Roman Catholic. The religion practice today in the same area is still mostly Roman Catholic, but some people still maintain some of the Mayan rituals, such as cosmology, deities, and domestic rituals (Mayan 2). The di... ... middle of paper ... ...the Maya culture and Catholics have oral and written traditions. The Maya have the Popol Vuh, which is similar to the Holy Bible in Catholic Tradition. Both religions had different types of similar ceremonies including fasting, burning incense and penance by bloodletting. Both religions also believe in some type of afterlife. The Catholic bible, in several stories, reflects the Popol Vuh. There are also other parallel readings within both books. One big difference between both religions is that the Maya religion is polytheistic and the catholic religion is monotheistic. The Maya worshipped many different gods whereas Catholics worship one God in 3 persons. The Maya were also looked down upon because they lacked Christianity (Ballou 1-4). Today there is no current dialogue or opportunities for common ground because the Mayan civilization is no longer in existence.

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