Maize was the most important crop in Maya agriculture for many reasons: it grew well in the climate, it was easily stored, it could be eaten in a number of ways (e.g. whole or used as a type of flour), and had many other uses (e.g. for baskets, fuel, etc.), making it an indispensable part of life.
The maize god , Hun Hunahpu, was one of the most important owing to his connection with this vital staple crop. He is shown here as a youthful, handsome man. The god was therefore not just associated with maize itself, but also with the cycle of rebirth, the cycle of seasons and the associated growth of crops.
Around 2500 B.C. the Maya started cultivating corn ( maize ) and abandoned a nomadic way of life to settle in villages surrounded by cornfields. With the domestication of corn and the harnessing of rainwater for irrigation, all the elements were in place to support a growing Maya population.
The Maya , Aztec, and Inca civilizations ate simple food. Corn (maize) was the central food in their diet, along with vegetables such as beans and squash. Avocados and tomatoes were mainly eaten by the Aztecs and Maya , along with a wide variety of fruit.
Maize is also an important livestock feed both as silage and as crop residue, grain and is also used industrially for starch and oil extraction. It is an important source of carbohydrate, protein, iron, vitamin B, and minerals.
In addition to being consumed directly by humans (often in the form of masa), maize is also used for corn ethanol, animal feed and other maize products, such as corn starch and corn syrup. Maize is also used in making ethanol and other biofuels.
Chac , Mayan god of rain, especially important in the Yucatán region of Mexico where he was depicted in Classic times with protruding fangs, large round eyes, and a proboscis-like nose.
The most important food that the Maya ate was maize, which is a vegetable like corn. They made all types of food from maize including tortillas, porridge, and even drinks. Other staple crops included beans, squash, and chilies. For meat the Maya ate fish, deer, ducks, and turkey.
Maya astronomer -priests looked to the heavens for guidance. They used observatories, shadow-casting devices, and observations of the horizon to trace the complex motions of the sun, the stars and planets in order to observe, calculate and record this information in their chronicles, or “codices”.
The Mayan religion was Polytheist, and they worshiped more than 165 Gods. The Gods were human-like. The Gods were born, grew up and died.
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.
Meat and fish were typically cooked in stews along with various vegetables and peppers. Fish was either salted and dried or roasted over an open fire. Fruits eaten included guava, papaya, avocado, custard apple, and sweetsop. A frothy chocolate drink and honey were also popular desserts.
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.