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Mayan Indians

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Introduction

Mayan Indians The Mayan Indians lived mainly on or near the Yucatan Peninsula. This region had many volcanic mountains or Highlands in the south and the Lowlands in the central and northern regions. The southern part of the Lowlands was covered by a rain forest and the northern by much drier forests. You could also find savannas and swamps scattered throughout many of these regions. The fields that farmers would use to grow crops are cut and burned around February to May. During this time period, it is the dry season, in which it is very hot and uncomfortable for the people. When the practice this slash and burn technique, the sky becomes gray and smoky, making the weather even more unbearable. Than in late May the rains come and clear the gloomy atmosphere. The climate of the Highlands greatly contrasted with that of the Lowlands as it was much cooler and drier. In regard to trade, both the Highlands and Lowlands were important to the Mayan civilization. The topography of the Lowlands allowed them to grow cash crops of the people. ...read more.

Middle

The roof was made out of a thick palm thatch, which sufficiently protected the interior. There was also a stone version of this home, which was lived in by the more powerful. It was similar, but instead was made in a rectangular form. In places where there are many large trees, wooden planks would be used in place of piles, which also lacked rounded ends. Some of these homes and structure are still standing today. The Mayans were skilled farmers who cleared large sections of tropical rain forests for their farming. Also, when they were running low on water, they would make an underground storage for rainwater. Maize was their main staple and still is, though they have various diets depending on the local geography. Agriculture was based on slash and burn farming which meant that the field has to be left alone from 5 to 15 tears after only 2 to 5 years of farming. The normal garment of men was a cotton breechcloth wrapped around the middle, with sometimes a sleeveless shirt, either white or dyed in colors. ...read more.

Conclusion

Anyone who did not follow this rule was looked on as an outcast. Also, marriage within certain sorts of relationships like, the sister of a dead wife or with a mother's sister was also not allowed. No one was to marry out of his or her own rank with the permission of the chief of their district. The Mayans were believed to an unified empire, but it was really scattered into many regions with a common cultural background. They were similar to the Greeks, meaning religiously and artistically they were a nation, but politically separate. It is not common for woman to take the post of a ruler in these sovereign states, though a few did. Never have they achieved the title of 'mah kina', a title only given to great male rulers. An elaborate system of writing was developed to record the transition of power through the generations. Maya writing was composed of recorded inscriptions on stone and wood and used within architecture. Folding tree books were made from fig tree bark and placed in royal tombs. Unfortunately, many of these books did not survive the humidity of the tropics or the invasion of the Spanish, who regarded the symbolic writing as the work of the devil. ...read more.

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