Polytheism In The Mayan Civilization

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The Mayan civilization was considered to be one of the most advanced civilizations of Mesoamerica. They had a structured belief system of polytheism in which their livelihoods revolved around. This idea of greater beings drove the Mayans to create enormous advancements in sciences, technologies, arts, religious practices, warfare and human sacrifice, as they wanted their deities to remain content resulting in joyful everyday life, complete with good harvest and altogether happy communities. The Mayans were extremely advanced mathematicians using a numerical system that contained the value “zero”. Their people had created two different systems to log numbers. The first system was found to be slightly more complex as they used “stylized pictures of the heads of gods with the…show more content…
They worshipped many different gods and goddesses, although it is unclear exactly how many they worshipped. Like many cultures of polytheism, each deity pertains to a specific aspect of their lives. For example, Chac, the god of rain and storm and Ixchel, the goddess of the moon, healing, and pregnancy. People of the Mayan society feared the gods as “Mayan gods were unpredictable, and could either help or hinder humans.” (450) The average Mayan could not directly communicate with any of their gods. Only the Mayan priests could do this. To the average peasant, these high-ranking priests were revered as gods on earth as they were the only people who could interpret the religious messages handed down by the deities and find ways to please them. They had to perform the correct ceremonies, rituals and sacrifices for the right time. The priests were highly trained and intelligent individuals and were often teachers for the priesthood and were part of the ruling elite. A peasant or a low-ranking individual could never become a priest, this position was hereditary however, second sons of nobles had the choice of becoming a
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