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Mayan Traditions

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The Mayas are an early civilization that lively primarily in the area known as Mesoamerica. They were an agricultural group obtaining their food through farming, fishing, and hunting. The Mayas are most known for their elaborate architecture, advanced mathematics and astronomy but they are also rich in their religion, culture, and art. Although subjects to abuse, many of their relatives today continue with their Mayan traditions. As explained in History online by the A&E Network, the earliest Maya settlements date to around 1800 B.C. It was not until about 300 B.C. that the Mayas began to expand into the highlands and lowland regions (History.com Staff, 2009). The American Indian Heritage Foundation describes that the highlands of the South…show more content…
In an article in the Ancient History Encyclopedia written by Mark Cartwright, he writes that an estimated 90% of the Maya population relied on mostly farming. The Mayas practiced slash-and-burn techniques. After land declined in fertility after two years of crops, they let the land rejuvenate for five to seven years to be ready for replanting. It is also believed that they practiced extensive shifting cultivation or as defined in the text Human Evolution and Culture: Highlights of Anthropology, by Carol Ember, Melvin Ember, Peter Peregrine, and Carol Ember, the land is worked for short periods of time and then left idle for some years (p.259). It is estimated that in the high lands, plots had to be left empty for up to fifteen years (Cartwright,…show more content…
We never left" (American Indian Heritage Foundation, “Where Did the Maya Empire Go”). Truth is the Mayas are alive and continuing their traditions. Although, the Mayan population has tremendously declined, “an estimated 1.2 million Maya… live in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, and nearly 5 million more are spread thought out the Yucatán Peninsula and the cities and rural farm[s]… of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador” (American Indian Heritage Foundation, “Where Did the Maya Empire Go”). Unfortunately, the Mayas live many indigenous groups were and continue to be subjects of discrimination and cultural genocide. As early as the 16th century during the Spanish Conquest, Catholic missionaries outlawed Maya religion and burned their sacred books (American Indian Heritage Foundation, “Where Did the Maya Empire Go”). Many more were killed in battle or died from being exposed to diseases the Europeans brought with them. Their land was also taken form them and many Mayas were
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