The Yaxche , as the Maya referred to it, was the representation of what is known in vast ancient civilizations as the tree of life. In the Maya civilization the Yaxche is represented by the Ceiba pentandra, known as the Kapok tree in English, that is native to the southern Mexico region.
The commoners lived in huts outside the city near their farms. The huts were usually made from mud, but were sometimes made from stone. They were single room homes with thatched roofs. In many areas the Maya built their huts on top of platforms made from dirt or stone in order to protect them from floods.
Around 2500 B.C. they started cultivating maize and abandoned a nomadic way of life to settle in villages surrounded by cornfields. The Maya created arable land by using a “slash-and-burn” technique to clear the forests. They planted maize and secondary crops such as beans , squash, and tobacco.
Ceiba trees grow in both wet evergreen and dry semi-deciduous tropical forests. Ceiba pentandra is native throughout the American tropics, from Mexico through Central America and south to Peru, Bolivia and Brazil, as well as in West Africa.
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 dead were laid to rest with maize placed in their mouth. Maize, highly important in Maya culture, is a symbol of rebirth and also was food for the dead for the journey to the otherworld. Similarly, a jade or stone bead placed in the mouth served as currency for this journey.
They slept in hammocks strung up in the houses during the rainy season; weather permitting, hammocks were also used outdoors. Many Maya continue to live in houses similar to those in which their ancestors lived.
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.
Kapok, (Ceiba pentandra), also called Java cotton , ceiba, or Java kapok, seed-hair fibre obtained from the fruit of the kapok tree or the kapok tree itself. The kapok is a gigantic tree of the tropical forest canopy and emergent layer.