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Maya social and political structure


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Maya social and political structure

  1. 1. Maya Social and Political Organization Matthew Ripley-Moffitt Cary Academy
  2. 2. Lords & Nobles <ul><li>The Lord: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Highest authority in Maya city center was Halach Uinic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chiefs and Priests served as advisors to help carry our government functions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lord ruled for life; considered god-king </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Succeeded by son or other close male relative </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Lords & Nobles cont <ul><li>Nobles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Chiefs, priests, lesser govern’t officials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ruled over village hamlets (outside city center) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gathered taxes, supplies, organized large building projects, led peasant armies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wore elaborate clothing including headdresses, animal skins, feathered capes, gold jewelry </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Priests <ul><li>Led ritual practices – including sacrifice and offerings </li></ul><ul><li>Also mathematicians, astronomers, healers, historians, shamans </li></ul><ul><li>Heavens divided into 13 compartments </li></ul><ul><li>Underworld divided into 9 compartments </li></ul><ul><li>Deities were natural forces, many combined with animal attributes </li></ul>
  5. 5. Merchants & Artisans <ul><li>Artisans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Created books – paper codices, glyphs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pottery; architecture; sculpture, jewelry, weaving </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Merchants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>by sea, river & extensive road system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Imported: obsidian, jade, quetzal feathers, copal, cocoa beans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exported: salt, cotton, dried fish, animal skins </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Peasant - farmers <ul><li>Huts – poles covered with dried mud </li></ul><ul><li>Corn, squash, beans, sometimes rabbit or turkey </li></ul><ul><li>Men worked in fields, women worked close to home </li></ul><ul><li>Worked on royal building projects or served in army during dry season </li></ul>
  7. 7. Slaves <ul><li>Some born into slavery </li></ul><ul><li>Others became slaves through: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Children sold into slavery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>War prisoners </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Punishment for serious crimes </li></ul></ul>