Ancient Maya Daily Life
Around 900 CE, the Mayas left their cities and disappeared. No one knows where they came from, and no one knows where they went. During their 1500 year stay on the Yucatan Peninsula in Central America, they build fascinating pyramids, temples, stelas, and ball courts. Learn about Daily Life in the Maya Empire, read The Exciting Adventure ofthe Hero Twins, explore Maps, Maya Hieroglyphics and Achievements, and play some games!Welcome to the Maya Empire!Maya Pottery: Maya pottery has given us quite a look at their daily life. The Mayas made little pottery figures. These figures were probably used in religious ceremonies. Many were made to rattle or whistle. Although very small, figures were detailed, brightly painted, and offer a lookat Maya life. Some of the figures include a bearded man on a throne, a person in a wide hat, a ballplayer wearing heavily padded clothing, and a musician shaking a rattle.
Class Society: The Maya had a class society. There were slaves, peasants, craftsmen, nobility, priests, and leaders. There were also warriors. At the top were the nobles and priests. The middle class had the craftsmen,traders, and warriors. At the bottom were farmers, other workers, and slaves.
Priests: Religion was at the heart of nearly all Maya activities. The Mayas believed in a great many gods and goddesses. They believed their priests could talk to the gods. That gave the priests incredible power. The priests, along with the leaders in each city-state, were the most powerful people in the Maya civilization. Priests decided nearly everything in the Maya daily life. They decided when to plant, when people could marry, marry, and whom to sacrifice.
Leaders: A different noble family ruled each city. The Mayas were governed by city-state. The same family ruled forever. The crown was handed from father to son forever. Their right to rule came from the fact that they were direct descendants of the HeroTwins. They were the kids of the kids of the kids of the original Hero Twins.
Nobles: The nobles were all the people who were not actually the rulers, but were of royal blood - the brothers and sisters and cousins and aunts and uncles of the ruling family. Nobles believed they were so important that, when they appeared in public, their attendants would hold a cloth in front of their face. That way,no one could talk to them directly. They bathed often. All of the men and none of the women used mirrors.
High Fashion: Maya nobles spent a great deal of time on their personal appearance. They pierced their ears. They covered their bodies with tattoos. They painted their bodies. They loved fancy colorful embroidery added to their clothing. They loved straight black hair and high cheekbones.They loved jewelry. Hats were important. The Mayas believed that the bigger the hat, the more important the wearer. Some of the headdresses worn by nobles were taller than they were. As in most ancient cultures, their life was one of leisure. They had the time to spend on what they believed made them look beautiful. Be Attractive the Classic Mayan Way Craftsmen: The Mayas wove beautiful fabrics.They made musical instruments like drums, shell horns, and castanets. Their statues were incredible and huge. The art they created honored their gods or their leaders.
Warriors: The Mayas were often at war. Some scholars say they were always at war. So, well-trained warriors were important to the Maya way of life. The job of warrior was highly respected.
Slaves: Slaves were people who werecaptured from warring tribes. Slaves worked in the homes of noble families. Some slaves cared for the children. Some cleaned the house. Still others worked in the fields. Farmers: Many of the Maya peasants were farmers. Farmers worked very hard. The Mayas did not have metal tools. Fathers and sons worked their land mostly by hand, helped a little with stone axes. Wives and daughters cooked and...
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