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”.
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.
The mask were commonly used in funrary rituals to cover the face of the death person. The simple masks were used to entertainment.
Masks used by the Mexica came from all over the empire. The mask itself could be made of green or black stone, wood, obsidian (a hard dark volcanic glass/stone), or even placed on a real human skull. Common mosaic materials were turquoise, obsidian, gold pyrite, coral, and shell.
The Mayan Pantheon: Gods and Goddesses – Itzamná This is one of the most important gods of the Mayan Gods. – Chaac . This is the famous Maya rain god. – Ix Chel . Ix Chel is known as La Blanca and is one of the most important goddesses in the vast Maya Pantheon. – Kinich Ahau . – Hun Nal Ye. – Ah Puch . – Ek Chuah. – Kukulcán God.
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.
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.
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.
In Mayan mythology, the jaguar was seen as the ruler of the Underworld, and as such, a symbol of the night sun and darkness. The jaguar is representative of power, ferocity, and valor; he is the embodiment of aggressiveness. For some, the jaguar represents the power to face one’s fears, or to confront one’s enemies.
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.
Historically, masks carved by shamans or under their supervision were worn in special dances to please the spirits. As intermediaries between people and spirits, shamans learned the wishes of game animals from visions and trips to the spirit world.
Blowguns. Blowguns and poisoned darts were more often used in hunting , but Aztec warriors trained in ambush would bring along their tlacalhuazcuahuitl and darts tipped with poisonous tree frog secretions.