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The Mayan civilization inhabited the rainforest region of present-day Guatemala, Honduras, and the Yucatan Peninsula (southern present-day Mexico).
The Mayan peoples constitute a diverse array of Native American peoples of southern Mexico and northern Central America. The term Mayan is broad and at the same time a convenient collective designation that includes the peoples of the region who somehow share a cultural and linguistic heritage; however, this designation encompasses many different populations, societies and ethnic groups, each with its own particular traditions, cultures and historical identity.
It is estimated that at the beginning of the 21st century this region will be inhabited by 6 million Maya. Some are quite integrated into the modern cultures of the countries in which they reside, others continue to follow a more traditional and culturally distinct way of life, often speaking one of the Mayan languages as a first language.
The largest populations of contemporary Maya are in the Mexican states of Yucatan, Campeche, Quintana Roo, and Chiapas, and in Central American countries Belize, Guatemala, and the western regions of Honduras and El Salvador.
Mayan Yucatan Indigenous Community
They never formed a unified empire, a fact that favored the invasion and rule of other neighboring peoples. The cities formed the core of civilization's political and religious decisions and practices and were governed by a theocratic state. The Mayan Empire was considered a representative of the gods on Planet Earth. The urban area was inhabited only by the nobles (royal family), priests (responsible for cults and knowledge), military chiefs and administrators of the empire (tax collectors). The peasants who formed the basis of society, artisan and urban workers were part of the less privileged strata and had to pay high taxes.
The economy was based on agriculture, especially corn, beans and tubers. His soil irrigation techniques were very advanced at the time. They practiced trade in goods with neighboring peoples and within the empire.
They erected pyramids, temples and palaces, demonstrating a great architectural advance. Crafts also stood out: spinning fabrics, use of dyes on fabrics and clothing.
The religion of this people was polytheistic, as they believed in various gods linked to nature. They worked out an efficient and complex calendar that accurately set 365 days of the year.
Like the Egyptians, they used writing based on symbols and drawings (hieroglyphics). They recorded events, dates, tax and crop counts, wars, and other important data.
They developed a lot of mathematics, with emphasis on the invention of decimal places and the value zero.
regions of the mayan and aztec empire
Mayan Calendar: Example of Mayan Culture