Organization of the city-state Mayan society was highly organized. There were very distinctive levels of importance among the people. A person’s social rank determined –where they lived, and –what their function in the community was.
City State Rulers Ruler known as the halach uinic, which means “the true or real man.” A living god Ruled until death Performed ceremonies, & sometimes lived in the temples located in the city center
Halach Uinic’s Appearance Elaborate, colorful clothing Large headdress Enormous ear decorations Crossed eyes Many tattoos
Temples The Mayas built two kinds of pyramids. Both pyramids had steep steps leading up to a flat top. One type of pyramid was designed to be used by the halach uinic and the priests to conduct ceremonies on the steps where everyone could see them. –The most important ceremonies were conducted at the very top of the pyramids. The other type of pyramid was designed to be admired - designed to honor a god. Mayan pyramids were built so high to serve as landmarks for the Mayan people. They served to remind the populace that the gods were always present.
Priests Halach Uinic’s advisors Named ahkin Performed many duties Knowledgeable in mathematics and astronomy Some called prophets (could see the future) Performed medical rituals Performed religious sacrifices Might officiate over ball games
Nobles or Upper Class Home at Tulum (just outside of the center of the city)
Mayan Nobles To the Maya nobles personal appearance was important. –pierced their ears. –painted bodies covered with tattoos. –added colorful embroidery to their clothing. –loved jewelry. THEY LOVED HATS!!!! 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.
Peasant/Farmers A family’s lot was delineated by albarradas (low walls made of narrowly stacked stone). Each family's lot included their hut, a well, a latrine, a chicken coup, a garden. The house was one rectangular room with rounded corners, no windows, and one central door built to face east. When the hammocks were hung, the main, single-room house was converted into a dormitory.
Peasant/Farmers Men wore a loincloth-a strip of cloth around their hips and through their legs- daily. Women wore loose dresses that went down to their ankles, perfect for the hot weather. The masses wore knick-knacks of stone, bone, wood, mainly on their faces.
Slaves Lowest level of importance in the social structure Slaves were either –convicted criminals required to pay restitution –captured warriors from battles Forced to do labor for the owner Lived in lean-to near owner’s dwelling
Summary Mayan religion was extremely important to every aspect of life. The Mayas worshipped many different gods and goddesses & practiced sacrifice in exchange for favors from the gods. Each city-state had a ruler whom was considered a living god. Mayans had a class society: priests, wealthy nobles, craftsman/warriors, peasants and farmers. The lowest class were the slaves.