Most of the Mayan masks were symbols of their gods. Some masks were used for ceremonies, such as those worn by the Shaman. Many Shamans wore four kinds of masks , but others wore eight of them. Each of these masks represented a spirit.
Death and rebirth mask —triple mask Mayan masks were made from a variety of materials, including wood, gold, shell and volcanic rock, they used masks for a variety of reasons; to adorn the faces of the dead, to be worn at important events, to be worn during battle, and to be hung in houses.
Drought would have hit cities like Tikal–where rainwater was necessary for drinking as well as for crop irrigation–especially hard. All three of these factors– overpopulation and overuse of the land, endemic warfare and drought–may have played a part in the downfall of the Maya in the southern lowlands.
Mayan masks were representations of Mayan gods , as well as part of a very sacred funeral ritual in the Mayan Classic Period from 250 to 900 AD. These were placed over the face of an important ruler when he died. Mayan masks endowed the rulers with the status of a divine being as the “Tree of the Universe”.
The most sacred Mayan masks featured complex and delicate mosaics made out of jade. Other materials used were stone, wood, gold, shell and obsidian (a hard, dark, glass-like volcanic rock) LO: To make a Mayan style mask Page 3 LO: To make a Mayan style mask Some Mayan masks were worn in battle.
The Ancient Mayans developed the science of astronomy, calendar systems, and hieroglyphic writing. They were also known for creating elaborate ceremonial architecture, such as pyramids, temples, palaces, and observatories. These structures were all built without metal tools. The Maya were skilled weavers and potters.
The ancient Maya considered jade to be divine and therefore far more important than gold. The stone had much religious meaning and was used to make both artistic and sacred objects. The nobility wore jade ear plugs, pendants, necklaces, masks and wristbands. Kings even inserted jade chips in their teeth.
Funerary masks were frequently used to cover the face of the deceased. Generally their purpose was to represent the features of the deceased, both to honour them and to establish a relationship through the mask with the spirit world.
Although much of the Maya life was spent doing hard work, they did enjoy entertainment as well. A lot of their entertainment was centered around religious ceremonies. They played music, danced, and played games such as the Maya ball game.
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 .
To scientists, it’s something more: evidence of the drought that is suspected to have led to the demise of the Mayan civilization. They found that the ratio of titanium to aluminum changed in the ninth and 10th centuries, a period when the Mayan civilization in the Yucatan Peninsula went into decline.
Mel Gibson’s road to rehabilitation after his anti-semitic outburst last summer appears to have hit a pothole: his Mayan epic Apocalypto has been condemned by a Guatemalan official for painting Mayan people in a derogatory light.
As we said, Maya writing is a combination of glyphs that stand for syllables, or “syllable glyphs,” and glyphs that stand for whole words, or “logos.” There are 200 to 250 syllable glyphs that were used in Classical Maya writing, and about 500 logos.