The Mayans (Gods & Nature)

    The Mayans had always believed in gods of nature. They

thought that every element of nature had a special god and

they were fascinated by everything related to it. They also

believed that they were created by gods who added their own

blood to flour made from corn.

   There is a vast pantheon of gods worshiped by the Mayans.

 Different areas had different gods, and some were more

important in one area than in another. Each location would also

have its special patron god. There was probably some sense of

competitiveness between locations, where they felt that their

patron god was stronger or more beneficent that others.

Gukumatz, for example, was a god of the four elements: fire,

water, air and earth; and each element was associated with a

 divine animal or plant:

 Air — Vulture

Earth – Maize

Fire – Lizard

Water – Fish

  Heaven was believed to have 13 layers, and each layer had its

own god. Uppermost was the muan bird. The Underworld had

nine layers, with nine corresponding Lords of the Night. The

Underworld was a cold, unhappy place and was believed to be

the destination of most Maya after death. Heavenly bodies such

as the Sun, the Moon, and Venus, were also thought to pass

through the Underworld after they disappeared below the

horizon every evening. Each of the gods had many aspects. Some

had more than one sex; others could be both young and old; and

every god representing a heavenly body had a different

Underworld face, which appeared when the god “died” in the

evening. The principle gods of the Mayan religion were: 

  •  Chac, the rain god. He was associated with the creation of

life. Chac was believed to be divided into four equal parts,

representing North, South, East and West.  

 

    • Kinich Ahau, the sun god. He supposedly visited the

    city at noon everyday, and would descend as a macaw and

 consumed the Mayans offerings.  

    • Yumil Kaxob, the Maize God, the god of flora.  He’s the

    representative of the ripe grain which was the base of the 

  • Mayan agriculture.

     

    • Yum Cimil, the death god, or god of the underworld

     

    • Ixtab, the suicide goddess

     

    • Kukulcan, the wind god.

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