Although the Toltecs mixed with the Mayans and other groups, their culture eventually dominated the area.
The main archaeological site we visited repeatedly was Chichen Itza, a Maya site in the Late Classic period c. When we are discussing Mesoamerican culture, it is important to distinguish between the native Maya and the Mexicans, a distinction that became obvious to me during my journey.
Another obvious distinction, of course, is that between the Maya and the even later Spanish conquerors. Fortunately, all was not lost, and the Mayans are slowly regaining much of their original culture. I will be putting together a DVD of my presentation, so I will not go into great detail here.
One of my main thrusts is to show the pre-Columbian religion and mythology, with emphasis on parallels between Mesoamerican and other religions and mythologies.
I focused on the pre-Maya Olmecs and pre-Toltec, pre-Spanish Maya, revealing that these peoples possessed some very important religious and mythological concepts that can be found in Christianity, among others, including the abundant use of the cross.
To the Maya, the cross represented a number of germane theological ideas, including as a solar symbol, as well as symbolizing the Milky Way and the primordial World Tree.
The Maya beliefs regarding the cross also predate apparent influence by the Mexican peoples, who evidently brought with them into the later amalgam a more violent cult than that of the native Maya. While the Maya engaged in human sacrifice, their religious violence was more measured and not as extensive as that of Mexicans from the north and northwestern regions, who included the Toltecs, Mixtecs, Zapotecs and Aztecs.
The physical differences between the Mexicans and Maya are striking, with the former resembling the more northerly Native American tribes such as the Navajo or Apache, while the Maya are shorter people with more heart-shaped or round heads with sloping profiles, features one can still see abundantly in the villages of the Yucatan and Quintana Roo.
The Mexicans also emphasized more warlike animals, apparently bringing with them from the northern mountainous regions the cult of the eagle, as well as a seemingly more aggressive version of the jaguar cult.
The similarity between Mayan mythology and Christianity that you explained in your talk is probably due to the hardwiring of the human brain, with comparable . It covers the devastating effect of Christianity on the Mayans and the greed of the Spanish, the various levels of Mayan society, Mayans and warfare, the weapons of the Mayans and Mayan religion. Their civilization had its own astronomers who did very well even though they did not have present-day type of observing equipment.5/5(4). Watch full episodes of your favorite HISTORY series, and dive into thousands of historical articles and videos. To know History is to know life.
While many scholars now feel that the earlier Toltec conquest explanation for the correspondences between Chichen Itza and Tula is no longer persuasive, there is still compelling evidence that the Itza rulership of Chichen Itza did maintain ongoing elite-level contacts with the Toltec rulers of Tula at a time the Terminal Classic through Early Postclassic periods when both cities served as important regional capitals….
It is possible that both factors were at work here, but the current guides at the site are definitely explaining the facades as Toltec, possibly through the employment of Toltec architects and builders. From Kukulkan to Quetzalcoatl The emphasis on the War Snake Kukulkan, expressly said to represent also the Mexican god Quetzalcoatl, is an important factor in surmising a Maya-Toltec collaboration or confederation.
This confederation seems so obvious to scholars like Belgian professor Dr.
Brill, In this regard, the rumors of Toltec influence appear in legends centuries old that depict a Toltec leader named Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, supposedly a more peaceful priest-king who stood against human sacrifice but who was opposed and left the land with a promise to return.
For ancient Mesoamerica, it was like Jerusalem, Rome, and Mecca all rolled into one. Serpent and Turtle Cults While, again, the Maya did engage in more limited religious violence such as human sacrifice and self-wounding, the Classic and pre-Classic Maya religion emphasized worldly and cosmic ideas outside of the human being.
One such fascinating notion has to do with the esteem for serpents and turtles, the former of which, of course, can be fierce, like the jaguar and eagle, particularly as there are several poisonous species of snakes in the jungles of the Yucatan peninsula.
A jungle, by the way, that is very flat and extremely humid, two factors that likewise must be kept in mind when analyzing Maya culture. The turtle, however, is a far more peaceful creature, a delight of children everywhere, who rarely feel threatened by them, other than snapping turtles, naturally.
In traditional Maya cosmology, the turtle represents a sacred mound with a hole or crack in its shell, through which grows the World Tree. This motif connects the earth to the cosmos via the Milky Way.
At the pre-Classic and Classic site of Old Chichen Itza, occupied before the Toltec influence or incorporation, the Maya elite lived in luxury and evidently practiced the old blood-letting and sacrificial ritual of piercing their penises with stingray spines.
This latter violent religious practice was apparently foremost at Old Chichen, as there is also an unusual temple there covered with phallic imagery. Chichen Itza at Solstice In my journey with Power Places Tours, I spent several hours over a period of some days at Chichen Itza, including as one of only a few groups allowed on the site a couple of hours before the gates were opened to the public on December 21st, the day of the winter solstice.
It was a glorious moment, as one imagined oneself to be on the same spot occupied by Mayans and Mexicans a thousand and more years ago, greeting the solar orb and sun god as he rose to bring his soothing light and life-giving rays to the world.Watch full episodes of your favorite HISTORY series, and dive into thousands of historical articles and videos.
To know History is to know life.
Religion in Guatemala is fairly complex, with traditional Mayan spirituality still very much a presence, particularly in the highlands, along with Catholicism and the more recent incursions of . The most important region of the Mayan Empire and the area of our interest where the famous civilization reached its maximum height is located in the tropical forest-clad lowlands.
Tikal is only one of the many great cities in this area that produced the most intricate architecture and . The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christendom, Spread of Christianity in the eastern Mediterranean region (by Paul the Apostle) The Apostolic Church was the community led by the apostles, and to some degree, Jesus's relatives.
Bridging World History is a multimedia course for secondary school and college teachers that looks at global patterns through time, seeing history as an integrated whole. Topics are studied in a general chronological order, but each is examined through a thematic lens, showing how people and societies experience both integration and differences.
As a follow-up to Tuesday’s post about the majority-minority public schools in Oslo, the following brief account reports the latest statistics on the cultural enrichment of schools in Austria.
Vienna is the most fully enriched location, and seems to be in roughly the same situation as Oslo. Many thanks to Hermes for the translation from barnweddingvt.com