Religious Practice of Maya, Aztec and Inca Cultures

There was a very intense relationship with the natural world and with the gods and goddesses that was entered by the people of Mesoamerica - Religious Practice of Maya, Aztec and Inca Cultures introduction. Those people of Mesoamerica believe the power of the natural world with the gods demanded ritual worship and deities who shifted between human, animal or symbolic forms is necessary. They passed stories about detities, religious practices and narratives from culture to culture. They believe that the stories are history. The local practice before the Conquest was meant to pass down the stories of the Mesoamerican mythology was transmitted orally and never written down.

The narratives of Mesoamerica was about creation tales, narratives of the gods and goddesses, account of the earth and sky, also stories associated with fertility, imagining the afterlife and harvest. They captured Tenochtitlan in 1521, they broke the images of their gods, melted treasures to be sent back to europe, tore down buildings and vandalized the city. They used the materials for the foundations of their colony, New Spain. The movements of the Aztec/Mexica and other groups in the Tenochtitlan were in the 1th century manuscripts such as the Codex Aubin and the Codex Xolotl.

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Also in the 17th century history recorded by Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl were all bsed on oral histories and codices are now lost. Frair Bernadino de Sahagun wrote the 12 volume General History of the Things of New Spain in 1569. His fellow churchman Diego Duran wrote the History of the Indies of New Spain and the Book of the Gods and Rites and the Ancient Calendar. The letters written by Hernan Cortes to Charles V are the first hand accounts of the Conquest, True History of the Conquest of New Spain written by Bernal Diaz del Castillo who is a member of Cortes’ force.

Rewriting the past was to establish that the Aztecs wrote that their destiny was to dominate other peoples and expand their territory. They often had events or themes as a unique historical happenings. They claimed they found their origin in the ‘Place of the Seven Caves’ but it was the origin story from the Mesoamerican groups. The Mesoamerican societies carved inscriptions in Maya lands on stelae, stone columns during the 3rd to 9th centuries AD.

They were mostly potraits of the holy kings of Maya and the rulers’ battle victories, jubilees and important religious sacrificies which also included the slaughter and humilation of a rival king. One stela was actually errected for the honor of the King Cauac Sky in Quiriqua is 33 ft tall and weigh 10 tons in AD771. They stopped erecting the stelae and scholars believed that they kept records in books which was destroyed by the Spanish but the Stelae survive which gave very invaluable source of information about Maya history and culture.

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