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The History of Aztec and Mayan Religious Practices

The extant information about religion of American tribes is sketchy The most developed religious concepts were Maya (Yucatan Peninsula), the Aztecs (Central Mexico), and Inca (the west coast of South America).

At the head of Maya religious practices was the pantheon of gods, the total number of which was very numerous. The main god was Itzamna, a generic god of Mayan upper class society. Ittsamna was the creator of the world and the creator of a man. Another god was Kukulkan, half a man and half a snake, the embodiment of wisdom, but also cunning and resourcefulness.

The world, according to Mayan Indians, was created a lot of times and each time was destroyed by the floods that were sent by the gods to men for their faults and a lack of respect towards the supreme deity. The creation of a man also was not an isolated act, the final creation was preceded by several failed attempts. At first, Itzamna tried to create people from wood, but they accidentally burned because of the fire the God wanted to give his creatures. The next time he tried to mold humans from clay, but forgot to burn them, resulting in clay people to be washed away by rain. Only the third attempt was successful – he created people from cornmeal and they turned out quite viable to exist on earth. The basis of this myth is agricultural cults, since corn is the main staple food, which was important for the existence of the tribe.

Archaeological excavations indicate that the in central Mayan cities there were numerous temples, on the flat tops of which sacrifices were carried out.

Religious pantheon of the Aztecs had a complex character, which probably explains by the fact that their state was created of several tribes, supreme gods of which made the triad of gods most revered by the Aztecs. At the head of this triad was Quetzalcoatl, who also was a cultural hero. It was believed that it was he who gave people the writing and taught the skills of cultivation. Quetzalcoatl was depicted as an old man with a long white beard.

Another god was Tezcatlipoca, the embodiment of the sun in its scorching and burning incarnation. This god demanded human sacrifices, which were made in his honor at the time of religious holidays. The third god of the Aztec pantheon, Huitzilopochtli, had an agricultural background, but paradoxically he was also transformed into a fan of human sacrifices.

The extant information about religion of American tribes is sketchy The most developed religious concepts were Maya (Yucatan Peninsula), the Aztecs (Central Mexico), and Inca (the west coast of South America).

At the head of Maya religious practices was the pantheon of gods, the total number of which was very numerous.

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100000572
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July 9, 2016
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July 10, 2016
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