The rich history about the Maya Civilization is not unknown to any of us. We have read about them or have certainly watched about them on Discovery channel! Known as one of the world’s most ancient civilizations, the Maya civilization holds much more than what is known by us. Everything about them, right from their culture to their belief in Gods and their sacrifices, the secrets about the Maya community is still mystery unresolved. Here are some of the shocking rituals that were followed by the Maya Civilization for various reasons. Some of them will send a chill down your spine.
Traditionally, the Maya people were believed to be a peaceful community that lead a simple life, who loved to gaze at the stars and traded with one another for fancy feathers and jade. However, these beliefs were proven wrong after researchers translated the glyphs that were painted on the ancient statues and temples. Turns out, the Maya people were fierce warriors like the Aztecs. These paintings also indicated to human sacrifices which is also a part of the Aztec Culture.
The Maya’s were bloodthirsty people, especially when it comes to pleasing their Gods. According to researchers, the city-states of the Maya civilization fought with each other very frequently, leading to many warriors being held captive. The prisoners were either sacrificed to please the Gods or enslaved. If the captives were nobles or kings of other cities, they were forced to play against the captors in their ceremonial ball game, re-enacting the battle which they had lost. Once the game was finished, the captives were then sacrificed ritually.
The Maya people were highly religious and worshiped their deceased ancestors and the Gods. They offered human blood and human life (the most sacred things on earth) as a sacrifice to please the Gods. And almost every Maya ritual included human sacrifices. Also, when they wanted to please the rain God, the priests would paint their human sacrifices blue in color, then cut their hearts out and place them on the stone altar. The human sacrifices were also sometimes thrown down the wells during other rituals.
Based on the several glyphs found in the Maya potteries and walls, ritual enemas were a common practice amongst the people. For the Maya people, consuming intoxicants was one of the simplest ways to talk to spirits or their ancestors. They would drink balche, a form of hallucinogen that was made from fermented honey. However, to avoid vomiting or nausea like feelings, these psychoactives were administered through the rectal passage. A team of researchers in the year 1980 did the experiment on themselves and reported the results in support of Maya enema ritual.
Hot Sauna Sweat Baths
During the archaeological excavation, huge sauna like stoned structures were found that used for the ritual cleansing or other health purposes. These sweat baths were also found in the city of Joya de Ceren, a city that was buried under the volcanic ash in El Salvador and in Tikal, Gautemala. These sweat baths were also discovered in Cuello, north Belize.
Followed their Bible – Popol Vuh
While a major part of the Maya culture and civilization has been lost, a small part of the culture has been discovered and being researched intensely. One of the documents from the civilization: the Popol Vuh has survived and is stored safely by the archaeologists. The document describes the conception of the mankind and the stories of Xbalanque ad Hunahpu, twin heroes who fought the Underworld Gods. The stories mentioned in Popol Vuh were traditional and sometime later, Quiche Maya wrote down these stories, which was again translated and copied by Father Ximenez in 1700 A.D. This priceless document is one of the most important treasures of the Ancient Maya culture.