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Mayan Sacrifice

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Lexi Book

on 16 October 2012

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Transcript of Mayan Sacrifice

By Lexi Book Mayan Sacrifice Prisoners or captives of war.
Higher ranked prisoners were preferred.
At the start of a battle, a promise would be made to a god, that if the god allowed the praying city to win, they would repay him with the human blood of the losing city.
Age and gender didn't matter for human sacrifice. Men , women, and children were all sacrificed.
Animals such as manatees, jaguars, opossums, parrots, quail, owls, turtles, pumas crocodiles, squirrels, insects dogs, deer, iguanas, and turkeys.
Objects such as feathers, rubber, cacao (chocolate), maize (corn), squash seeds, flowers, bark, pine boughs, pine needles, honey, wax, jade, obsidian, virgin water from caves, shells, and iron pyrite mirrors. Who was sacrificed? Before a king took office. This made the king more than any ordinary person, since other sacrifices were made to gods.
During ceremonies and celebrations there would be a sacrifice or more than one sacrifice to the praise and thank the gods.
After a war, a sacrifice would be held in the winning city to thank the gods for their victory. When did the Mayans sacrifice? Extraction of the heart-The person being sacrificed was then stripped and painted blue before being led to a temple or pyramid. Then the person or animal being sacrificed, would be laid down on an altar (painted blue) facing to the heavens. The arms and legs of the person would be held down by priests, while the ah nacum would penetrate the victim in the chest using a splint knife. The ah nacum would then pull the chest apart and reach inside to pull the beating heart out. Then they would smear the blood all over the corpse. The sacrificed body would be rolled down the steps of the temple or thrown down into the courtyard below where the lower classed people would skin the corpse (except for the hands and feet) and give it back to the priests. Once they received the skin of the corpse, the officiating priest would wear the skin while the other priests danced and sang around the spectators with him. If the victim had been a brave warrior or was special in some way, his body would have been butchered and consumed by the priests, nobles and spectators. Process of Sacrifice Continued It isn't that the Mayans didn't value human life, it was to prove that they were making a true sacrifice.
The Mayans thought that in order for their gods to maintain order in the universe, they needed to help them through sacred rituals such as bloodletting and human or animal sacrifice.
To us, this seems cruel and unusual, but to the Mayans, this was the only way to pay back the gods.
Death was a true privilege and honor for those who died. Dying through sacrifice was thought to bring immortality. Mayans dreaded natural death. They believed that those who died of natural causes wouldn't go to paradise.
The Mayans also believed that self- sacrifice through ritual bloodletting, was a way to contact the gods and ancestors.
The Mayans believed that if they did not make sacrifices, it would cause cosmic disaster. Why did the Mayans sacrifice? "The Complete Travel Guide to the Mayan World and Riviera Maya." Mayan Sacrifices. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. <http://www.mayanexplore.com/rituals-and-traditions/mayan-sacrifices>.
"The Complete Travel Guide to the Mayan World and Riviera Maya." Rituals and Traditions. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. <http://www.mayanexplore.com/rituals-and-traditions/rituals-and-traditions>.
Gill, N. S. "Human Sacrifice Among The Maya." About.com Ancient / Classical History. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. <http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/deathafterlife/qt/012709MayaScrfc.htm>.
Gill, N. S. "Why Did the Maya Perform Human Sacrifices?" About.com Ancient / Classical History. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. <http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/deathafterlife/f/012801hmnsacrfc.htm>.
"Human Sacrifice." Human Sacrifice. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. <http://www.hanksville.org/yucatan/sacrifice.html>.
"Mayan Religion." - ReligionFacts. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. <http://www.religionfacts.com/mayan_religion/index.htm>.
"Mayan Text Details Blood Sacrifices." Discovery News. N.p., 29 Dec. 2009. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. <http://news.discovery.com/history/mayans-religion-blood-sacrifices-high-priest.html>.
Neffa, Deborah. "National Geographic Magazine - NGM.com." National Geographic Magazine - NGM.com. N.p., 05 Aug. 2008. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. <http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/geopedia/Maya>.
Smith, Herman. "Maya Human Sacrifice ... Say It Isn't So, Archaeology on Ambergris Caye, Belize." Maya Human Sacrifice ... Say It Isn't So, Archaeology on Ambergris Caye, Belize. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2012. <http://ambergriscaye.com/museum/digit14.html>. Works Cited What gods did they sacrifice for? Itzmana: the god of fire and the hearth. He was also considered the chief god and creator.
Chac: the god of rain. The Mayans also believed he influenced fertility and agriculture.
Yumil Kaxob: the maize god. Methods of Sacrifice Being shot to death with arrows.
Decapitation.
Being thrown from a precipitate, temple or pyramid.
Being thrown into a limestone sinkhole.
The most common method was the extraction of the heart. The ah nacom (functionary) would stab the left side of the chest and pull out the heart while four other people held the four limbs of the sacrifice.
Being thrown down into a well.
Obsidian knives, stingray spines, and knotted chords were used to draw blood from their bodies as an offering to the gods.
As a blood sacrifice, the Mayans peirced their tongues, earlobes, and other body parts.
Animals and children were skinned alive or dismembered and then thrown into a cenote or sink hole. Process of Sacrifice Before the victim is brought out for the public sacrifice, the priests or functionary cut their tongue or arm with carved bone or stingray spines. They then collected the blood on paper. After they collected the blood, they would burn the paper to communicate to the gods. Process of Sacrifice Continued Bow and Arrow- The victim would be stripped, painted blue just like when they extract the heart. They would then be taken to the top of a temple or pyramid and bound to a stake. The priests then went up and wounded the victim(s) in parts of shame. They would then take the blood and smear it on the face of an idol/ god.
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