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.
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.
The Maya of the Classic period (A.D. 250-900) developed a sophisticated artistic tradition, producing sculpted stone, painted ceramics, clay figurines, and screen-fold bark books of drawings and hieroglyphic writing. Maya ceramic artists were highly educated members of the elite.
Mayas were buried with a death mask , which was intended to protect the wearer on their journey to the afterlife. The death mask of King Pakal is one of the most famous Maya artefacts.
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.
Aztec masks were used as ornaments, and were sometimes worn as part of a ritual, or in death as a death mask . They usually represented one god or another, and the Aztecs did have many gods. The masks generally then were used for worship of the gods, whether by being displayed in a temple or worn by a priest.
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 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.
Jade was incredibly important to the Mayans , taking on a great spiritual and religious significance . The stone’s green colour lent it to associations with water and vegetation, and it was symbolically associated with life and death in the eyes of the Mayans .
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.
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.
Maya stelae were worked with stone chisels and probably with wooden mallets. Hammerstones were fashioned from flint and basalt and were used for shaping the softer rocks used to make stelae, while fine detail was completed with smaller chisels.
7 Famous Death Masks That Had Lives of Their Own KING HENRY IV OF FRANCE, DIED 1610. OLIVER CROMWELL, DIED 1658. PETER THE GREAT, DIED 1725. JEAN-PAUL MARAT, DIED 1793. NAPOLEON BONAPARTE , DIED 1821. AARON BURR, DIED 1836. WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN, DIED 1891.
Death masks may be mementos of the dead , or be used for creation of portraits. The main purpose of the death mask from the Middle Ages until the 19th century was to serve as a model for sculptors in creating statues and busts of the deceased person. Not until the 1800s did such masks become valued for themselves.