Tattoos were a way of pleasing the gods because most of the images that the Mayans would have would symbolize their gods. They were also a sign of courage and bravery because anyone that would withstand the pain and dangers that come with these body markings would get a lot of respect.
The most popular Aztec tattoos feature animals such as eagles, jaguars, frogs and monkeys. These are totem animals, also known as spiritual guides. When a person chooses an animal totem, it is because they feel a particular affinity for that animal and are inspired by the creature’s way of life.
One of the two stepbrothers of the Hero Twins (the other being Hun-Batz) he is depicted as a howler monkey. Along with his brother, he is the patron god of artists and writers. While Gucumatz was the most popular god , Hunab-Ku is considered the supreme deity of the pantheon of the Maya , known as `Sole God ‘.
Mayans practiced many forms of body modification , including deforming a baby’s skull to create a pleasingly elongated shape, fostering crossed eyes, filing teeth, inlaying jade into a tooth, piercing and tattooing. The Mayans did this to be pleasing to the gods, for social status and for personal beauty.
Maya mythology describes serpents as being the vehicles by which celestial bodies, such as the sun and stars, cross the heavens. The shedding of their skin made them a symbol of rebirth and renewal. They were so revered, that one of the main Mesoamerican deities, Quetzalcoatl, was represented as a feathered serpent .
The Maya were native people of Mexico and Central America, while Aztec covered most of northern Mesoamerica between c. 1345 and 1521 CE, whereas Inca flourished in ancient Peru between c. 1400 and 1533 CE and extended across western South America.
Aztecs greatly honored eagles , the bird symbolizing power, courage and strength. If Aztec warriors got tattoos, many would no doubt choose this one to express their bravery , power and physical strength. Aztec eagle designs usually show the eagle with its head turned to the left, or west and its beak open.
Most Aztec women wore their hair long and loose, but did braid it with ribbons for special occasions. However, warriors wore their hair in ponytails and often grew scalplocks, long locks of hair that were singled out in a decorated braid or ponytail.
ORIGINAL QUESTION received from – and thanks to – Sarah Conner: Did Aztec men ever grow beards prior to the Europeans’ arrival? (Answer compiled by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore) The short answer is ‘No’. Only old or distinguished men (who could afford to ignore fashion) wore beards , and these were at lest thin and wispy.
Scholars have suggested a number of potential reasons for the downfall of Maya civilization in the southern lowlands, including overpopulation, environmental degradation, warfare, shifting trade routes and extended drought. It’s likely that a complex combination of factors was behind the collapse.
The Mayans religion involved several aspects of nature, astronomy and rituals. Most Gods represented a form in nature, for example, Sun God , Kinih Ahous, or Maize God , Yum Kaax . The Mayans were known for their calenders and astronomical buildings. These were used during their religious rituals.
Two thousand years ago, the ancient Maya developed one of the most advanced civilizations in the Americas. They developed a written language of hieroglyphs and invented the mathematical concept of zero. With their expertise in astronomy and mathematics, the Maya developed a complex and accurate calendar system.
The Mayans squeezed the skulls of the most privileged infants between two boards to elongate and flatten their heads and tried to promote crossed eyes by hanging a ball from children’s bangs in the center of their forehead. All Mayans filed points on their teeth to make their mouths look more appealing.
For the ancient Maya , bloodletting rituals (called ch’ahb’ in surviving hieroglyphs) were a way that Maya nobles communicated with their gods and royal ancestors. The trances were to petition their ancestors and the gods for rain, good harvests, and success in warfare, among other needs and desires.
During the pre-Columbian era, human sacrifice in Maya culture was the ritual offering of nourishment to the gods. 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.