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Maya Empire for Kids
Leaders & Nobles



Each city in the Maya Empire was ruled by a different noble family. 

Nobles were not the royal family. Nobles claimed they were the descendants of the Hero Twins. That gave them the right to rule. 

Nobles did not appear in public without one of their slaves holding a cloth in front of their face. No common person could speak to a noble. If a commoner wanted to communicate with a noble, they had to speak to a noble's attendant. 

The nobles had slaves to do all their manual labor type work for them. That gave them a great deal of leisure time. They spent a great deal of their leisure on personal grooming and garments. 

They used a lot of color and beautiful embroidery in their clothing. But hats were their thing. They created the most incredible (and truly ridiculous) hats. Each was as high as a noble could handle. Some were only a few feet high. Some were higher. Some were taller than they were! 

The nobles covered their bodies with tattoos. They draped themselves in jewelry. They pierced their ears and wore enormous earrings. They bathed often, and then painted their bodies.

Noble men acted as government officials. Some were judges. Some directed others who were law enforcers. Some discussed new laws that were needed, and brought those laws to attention of the crowned leader of the city. They prayed every day to their gods. They were not totally idle, but they did spend a great deal of time on their personal appearance. 


Mayas for Kids


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Written by Lin Donn
Clip Art Credit: Phillip Martin
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