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Mayans Belief In God In Their Daily Lives (Essay Sample)


Maya and Navajo - Papers

8-10 pages

Make a single significant, coherent claim. Devote your whole paper to proving that your claim is true. Use many quotations as evidence continuously.

Remember that you are formally analyzing complex intellectual texts. You are not just handing out your opinions. Therefore, at every turn, you will have to make sure that you:

  1. Only say what you know. Don’t make global statements about the Maya, or about Maya myth, etc. Since you are just beginning your study of this culture, your statements should be explicitly modest and refer only to the texts you have read so far.
  2. Make your points one at a time, and don’t try to make too many. You only have a few pages, and developing a point adequately, takes time.
  3. Remember to present multiple examples to show us what you are talking about. Present evidence to support your statements. Give us many quotations from the texts, but use short ones, that are exactly relevant to your idea.
  4. Don’t trust your first idea. Think again. Think more. Go deeper.

Student Name
Mayans Belief in God in Their Daily Lives
The Popol Vuh is a cultural narrative of the of the Quiche Mayan people who resided in the north-central highlands of Guatemala and blends their traditions and historical accounts. It centers about the origin of the creation myth of the Quiche Maya people and the now-defunct Mayan civilization. The cultural narrative has suffered many losses as a result of the Spanish colonization and most of the Quiche texts and codices were destroyed (Hughes 509). A friar called Francisco Ximenez has been credited with the translation from Quiche codex to the Spanish language. It has since been translated into the English language. In the cultural narrative, the Mayan people are portrayed as very religious people in their worship of several deities. The deities are responsible for their very existence as they needed people to worship and praise them. The paper will examine the various aspects in the book that prove the claim that the Mayans believe in God in their daily lives and their religious believes borrow a lot from the teachings of the bible.
The Mayans made symbols for their worship which were interpreted as a representation of their God and in a similar process through which God created the universe in the Bible. Gugumatz and Huracan embarked on a journey to create a new world (Smith 52). They seek to be worshipped and praised hence build creatures to that effect. The two gods and their desire to be worshipped highlight from the start of the religious beliefs of the Mayans and their identification with superior beings. The god's first attempt at making creatures resulted in the creation of animals and trees. The author states “and they planned the animals of the mountains, the deer, birds, jaguars, serpents, rattlesnakes, yellow bites, guardians of the bushes” (Popol Vuh 39). However, these creatures were not endowed with the power of speech and as such were useless as they could not serve the purpose of their creation which was to worship and praise their creators. The author then notes the words uttered by the gods “speak then our names and praise us, your mother and father. Invoke then Huracan, Chipi-Caculha, Raxa-Caculha, the Heart of Heaven, the Heart of Earth, the creator, the Maker, the Forefathers; speak, invoke us, adore us” (Popol Vuh 40). The interpretation I get from this is that degrading of the animal creatures for failure to adore and worship the gods is symbolic in the fact that God punishes all those who do not conform to his ways. The symbolism further identifies with the Mayans believe in God and the punishments for all those who didn't worship and praise Him in their daily lives. The author states words uttered by the gods “because it has not been possible for you to talk, you shall be changed. Accept your destiny. Your flesh shall be torn to pieces” (Popol Vuh 40).
The beliefs of the Mayans about judgment and punishment from their gods is very similar to the story of punishment by floods in the Bible when Noah build the ark and those who did not participate in building the ark were left out to die. As the author notes the two gods then embarked on a creation that would bring forth humanity and with an astonishing resemblance to the Hebrew legend of Golem (Preuss & Himelblau 79). They made a creature from mud and though they succeeded on the features and having it to talk, the creature crumbled and disintegrated when they tried to move it. The author states “It couldn't look around. It talked at first, but senselessly. It was quickly dissolving in the water” (Popol Vuh 41). And so they tried again, this time building a creature from wood which also failed because it's impossible to infuse consciousness in a w...

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