The Beginning And Present Of Mayan Culture

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Chapter One: Myans

The Mayans are originally from Mesoamerica in the countries Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. The Mayans had around 25 different languages due to the expansion in Mexico. Mayans mostly spoke ten out of the estimated twenty-five languages: Yucatec, Tzeltal, Tzotzil, Ch’ol, Mam, Q’anjob’al, K’iche’, Kaqchikel, Q’eqchi’, and Huastec. As for food a great deal of their food would mainly consist of maize (corn). Other foods are chili peppers, avocado, tomatoes, beans, cocoa beans, squash, quinoa, and potatoes.

The Mayans were known for their achievements in astrology and math. Mayan people created their own multiplex calendar so they could be in par with their ancestral roots. The attack of the Toltecs started the postclassic period since there are three kinds of periods in the Mesoamerican time. Around the time A. D. 250 the hospitality of the Mayan Empire started. Including all the facts they also worshiped multiple gods of nature. Mayans are considered the artists in Mesoamerica because of the structures that they created. Their structures were stepped pyramids that were covered in beautiful designs. Later on they learned how to make paper out of trees. Instead of dry climates all the time some colonies were started in conditions like rainforests.

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After a randomized attack the population of Mayan’s started to decrease drastically. Lastly the pyramid at Chichén Itzá. The tower was so amazing that the head on top is the Mayan serpent god. It is said that as the sun is setting the body of the serpent is complete it appears and then goes to slither into the earth. The Mayan people were very intelligent and they started creating products with rubber in them 3,000 years before Charles Goodyear.

Chapter Two: Back to the Beginning

The creation myth of the Mayans starts with six deities: The farmer and the Shaper, Tepew and Quetzal Serpent, including Xpiyacóc and Xmucané. All six deities created the heart of the earth with their spiritual essence and miraculous power. They also separated the sky from earth by planting a tall ceiba tree that the roots went down nine levels of the Maya Underworld, the trunk was on the surface of the earth, and the branches reached thirteen levels of the upper-world.

As the time continued the deities started creating the plant and animals that now live on earth. Since the animals couldn’t talk or worship, the deities decided to create humans. The first attempt was created with mud, but they had no soul and weren’t good “keepers of the day.” So, they were destroyed in a great flood. Next the deities created humans from wood, but they couldn’t worship causing them to get destroyed. The ones that survived are said to be the monkeys in the trees. Now earth and sky exist but sun and moon still don’t, so a vain bird named Seven Macaw claimed the title of the Sun and Moon. This of course was not true so two twins named, Hunajpu and Xbalanqué, defeated Seven Macaw, by shooting him with darts.

After the Seven Macaws defeat, the twins became ball players and challenged the Lords of Xibalbá, the Underworld. They did this to bring their father back to life, in the end they beat the lords and brought their father back as the Maize God. As the twins went back up they continued up into the sky making them the Sun and the Moon. Lastly the deities created a last attempt of humans from white and yellow corn. The corn provided stability and endurance that humans needed to be true.

Chapter Three: A glimpse into the ancient times

The myth of the hummingbird starts with the great spirit creating Tzunuum. The first hummingbird was very simple looking with little to no color, and was very prideful in her distinguished talents. When marriage for her age came, her friends all collaborated feathers and web to make Tzunuum her very own dress and jewelry. The dress was so wonderfully beautiful and full of life that she could barely contain her amazement. The great spirit sent a messenger saying that Tzunuum could wear the dress for all eternity because of her modesty and honesty.

A second myth from the Mayans is The Hero Twins. The very first generation of twins were great players that the gods of the underworld were jealous of the twins. After a while of the gods jealousy they told the twins to go to the underworld with all their equipment. The twins decided to leave their gear under their mother’s care. Upon their arrival they were given two tests in which they both failed so they were sacrificed and buried under a ballcourt in the city of Xibalba.

A few years later a Blood Woman showed up at the fork tree where the Hunahpu head spole and spit on her hand. By spitting on her hand she was able to retain the growth of the Hero Twins named Hunahpu and Xbalanque. The Hero Twins tried gardening but it just wouldn’t work for them. The animals would keep on destroying any progress they had completed the previous hours. One day they finally caught a rat and were going to burn it alive until, it stated that something greater was awaiting them to become their destiny. The Hero Twins revised a great plan that would allow them to retain everything they needed for becoming great ballplayers.

When the twins showed up before the “gods” of the underworld they had a mosquito bite all gods until they knew which ones were fake and what was real. This angered the underworld gods so they depended on their second plan which was the heated chair. The Hero Twins of course knew about this all so they were able to outsmart the gods so they were sent on a series of challenges. Throughout every, single, challenge they would find a way to solve for a simple yet effective solution. At the last the Twins beat the gods in a simple ball game by stitching a plan together that involved the help of all animals.

The gods ended up killing the twins but they were revived since they were but back in the water. They became masters of trick and were summoned by the gods. When one “killed” the other twin and brought them back to life the gods were so impressed. The gods wanted the same exact trick performed on them so the twins did do it but they never brought them back to life causing the defeat of the underworld gods. After the underworld defeat the twins ascended up in the sky and converted into the sun and moon (Dennis 14).

The myth about the hummingbird reveals that people should be humble and honor the things that others do for them so great things can be given in return. In particular the myth shows that people have to treat others respectfully and honor the things that are given to them. Also, in the myth about the Hero Twins it is important to notice how they were finding something they loved to do. Nothing would get in their way and they would always try to find the simplest ways to solve any challenge that was given to them. This reveals that the Mayan culture is all about not giving up no matter if someone from a previous generation couldn’t do it, You will always be able to do more than you think you just have to keep trying and never give up on the situation. These myths show that people are expected to behave respectfully, with caution, determination, and courage.

Chapter Four: Forever in Our Deepest and Closest Memories

By comparing the creation myth to the Greeks and Romans we see that bothe myths start with nothing that is later created by a higher being called the sky or heaven. Also the myth about the Hero twins can be a series of different Greek myths all put together like Odysseus’s mentality to get through challenges and his strength. Also, by comparing it to Genesis we can see that the creation myth all starts with nothing followed by the ruler of the sky.

Australian mythologies main focus is on the earth and how it was created. Austrailians would perform rituals involving singing, painting, and lastly dancing. Their way of reciting myths would be through chants. Two the most well known gods were Rainbow serpent and Dreamtime. If Rainbow Serpent was not honored correctly Serpent would punish the people greatly.

The dome-shaped stones in central Australia are the battle scars between serpent beings and snake men. The way death happened started with Crow and Crab. While Crab was waiting for his new shell to grow, Crow said that it took a horrendous amount of time. So Crow rolled his own eyes back and fell for dead. More mythological figures consist of the Seven Sisters. The Seven sisters fled central Australia so a man wouldn’t abuse the oldest sister. On their journey they constructed (created) a mountain, caves, and a fig tree that once used to be the eldest sibling. In the end the remaining sisters became the constellation Pleiades (Gale 144).

These myths are important because they explain why we have mountains and all existing nature. Even though their myths It shows that even the simplest of things have an origin as to why it is here today. The myths explain to us in a manner we would enjoy to learn about these things. Also, all myths have multiple things in common, just that every culture will have their reason behind the myths they have.

Chapter Five: When All Comes to an End

In general, the Mayan civilization flourished in Mesoamerica from around 300 B . C . until the Spanish conquest of the early A . D . 1500S. The mythology of the Maya had many elements in common with those of other civilizations of the region, but the Maya developed their own variation of the Mesoamerican pantheon of gods and goddesses, the stories about them, and the image of the universe and the place of humans in it. In Mayan mythology, the gods and heroes had many different names and appearances, stories occurred in varying forms, and scenes and figures changed and shifted with confusing rapidity. Beneath this seeming confusion, though, lay a sense that the universe was an orderly, structured place and that proper behaviour toward the gods played an important role in maintaining its harmony and balance. The Maya were deeply religious, and worshipped various gods related to nature, including the gods of the sun, the moon, rain and corn. They were thought to serve as mediators between the gods and people on earth, and performed elaborate religious ceremonies and rituals so important to the Maya culture. 


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