Each city-state was ruled by a king. The Maya believed that their king was given the right to rule by the gods. They believed that the king worked as an intermediary between the people and the gods. The leaders of the Maya were called the ” halach uinic ” or “ahaw”, meaning “lord” or “ruler”.
The king, or k’ul ahau or sacred ruler, was an absolute monarchy . In the Pre-Classic Maya era, rule was predominantly through a village elder, but gradually the Maya adopted a hierarchical governmental system with rule by a monarch and the aristocracy. While the king ruled by divine right, even he could only go so far.
As a result of the states’ jealousy, the Mayans were very eager to go to war with the other lands. And when they fought the other lands, they had increased their power so much that they were effortlessly victorious over these Yucatan states.
K’inich Janaab Pakal
Do The Maya Still Exist ? Descendants of the Maya still live in Central America in modern-day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and parts of Mexico. The majority of them live in Guatemala, which is home to Tikal National Park, the site of the ruins of the ancient city of Tikal.
After assembling a record-setting 154 radiocarbon dates, the researchers have been able to develop a highly precise chronology that illuminates the patterns that led up to the two collapses that the Maya civilization experienced: the Preclassic collapse, in the second century A.D., and the more well-known Classic
Blood was viewed as a potent source of nourishment for the Maya deities, and the sacrifice of a living creature was a powerful blood offering. By extension, the sacrifice of a human life was the ultimate offering of blood to the gods, and the most important Maya rituals culminated in human sacrifice .
The Maya Military Members of the highest ruling class often were military and spiritual leaders of the cities and their capture during battles was a key element of military strategy. It is believed that many of the cities, especially the larger ones, had large, well-trained armies available for attack and defense.
The Maya had a system of serfdom and slavery . Serfs typically worked lands that belonged to the ruler or local town leader. There was an active slave trade in the Maya region, and commoners and elites were both permitted to own slaves .
The Maya have lived in Central America for many centuries. They are one of the many Precolumbian native peoples of Mesoamerica . In the past and today they occupy Guatemala, adjacent portions of Chiapas and Tabasco, the whole of the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize, and the western edges of Honduras and Salvador.
The Maya believed that when people died, they entered the Underworld through a cave or a cenote. When kings died, they followed the path linked to the cosmic movement of the sun and fell into the Underworld; but, because they possessed supernatural powers, they were reborn into the Sky World and became gods.
The ancient Maya never used coins as money . Instead, like many early civilizations, they were thought to mostly barter, trading items such as tobacco, maize, and clothing.
K’inich Janaab’ Pakal the Great