of Nature: The Mayas worshipped the
gods of nature every day. Worshiping their gods was a huge part of their
Some of their gods included the God of Rain, Lady
Rainbow, the God of Maize (corn), and of course, the God of Sun.
Without the help of these important gods, there
would be no crops and everyone would starve.
The Mayas believed in an afterlife. Commoners
buried their dead inside their homes, under the floor. That way, they
could live with their ancestors and keep their ancestors easily posted
on their daily life. The Mayas believed they would be compensated. If
they had a rough time or a rough life, this would be made up to them in
Nobles were buried in tombs.
Underworld: Maya religion was far more
complicated than the simple worship of gods of nature. The Maya world
was composed of 3 layers - the Heavens, the Earth, and the Underworld,
sometimes called the Otherworld or the Place of Awe.
The Mayas conducted many ceremonies to keep the
demons, creatures and gods in the Underworld, where they belonged.
During certain religious ceremonies, priests
dressed up like jaguars. Priests wore scary masks as they faced the
inhabitants of the Underworld. Priests wanted to present themselves as
equally scary and powerful.
All of the men, but none of the women, used
mirrors. In the ancient Maya world, looking into a mirror was an
act of courage. The Maya believed that monsters from the Place of Awe
could reach through the mirror, and yank you into the Otherworld.
Maya daily life and culture was wrapped
around their religion. The priests decided nearly everything in the
Mayas daily life. The priests decided when to plant, when to marry, and
who to sacrifice.
Folktales & Maya Myths
of the Maya People