Aztec and Mayan Religious Practices

Length: 8 Pages 2098 Words

Aztec and Mayan Religious Practices Thesis Statement: Aztec and Mayan religious practices were unique and sometimes barbaric. From daily rituals to elaborate ceremonies dedicated to the worship of deities the Aztec and Maya were ensconced in their religion. I. Religion of the Aztecs A. Deities that were Worshiped B. Structures Built towards Devotion C. Calendar Based on Worship D. Distinctive Ceremonies II. Religion of the Maya A. Deities that were Worshiped B. Distinctive Religious Practices III. Religions effect on Aztec and Mayan Society A. Similarities and Differences between the two societies B. Downfall of Aztec society Central America is a continent rich in culture as well as history. Inhabitants of Central America are comprised of a mixture of Indian and Spanish decent. The best known of the Central American Indians is the Aztec and Maya. The society of the Aztec and Maya held religion to the utmost highest priority. Aztec and Mayan religious practices were unique and sometimes barbaric. From daily rituals to elaborate ceremonies dedicated to the worship of deities the Aztec and Maya were ensconced in their religion. Aztec and Mayan religious zeal indirectly contributed to their demise. Continue...

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Blood happened to be the "mortar" of Maya life, and offerings to the gods were made to better their standings with the gods. Regardless of the names he was a principal god in Aztec and Mayan religion. Inside these pyramids were elaborate temples which served as a pilgrimage site for followers. It was in these pyramids and temples where most of the sacrifices took place. As was said before many aspects of Aztec society was based on war in order to appease the gods. The largest pyramid was called the pyramid of the sun. Aztecs favored the god of war Huitzilopochtli though. Xipe was another adopted god worshipped then that is still worshipped by Central Americans today (Spinden ). In one account of a sacrifice by heart extraction the body was thrown down the steps, torn to pieces, then roasted in ovens and eaten as a delicacy (Conrad and Demarest 29). One of the most amazing aspects of Aztec society was the calendar. Male nobles drew blood from the penis, ear, or tongue; women drew blood from the tongue; blood was drawn from the ears; fingernails, and mouths of war captives before they were sacrificed (Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia 1995). He was supposedly at the mercy of the evil gods when the friendly gods weren"tmt present. These five days were considered to be extremely unlucky (Hewett 237). At the end of every month there was a feast. The man who was chosen to be sacrificed was sometimes an enemy warrior.


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