10 Interesting aspects about the Mayan Culture and Mythology

For anyone curious to learn more about Maya culture and mythology, here are a few aspects and facts you might be interested in.

  • 1. The Maya culture has its roots starting around 2000 BC, and thrived from 300 BC to around 900 AD.  Parts of the Mayan mythology later influenced the Aztecs and Incas.
  • 2. The Maya lived in Central America and the southern parts of Mexico (the Chiapas, Tabasco, and Yucatan Peninsula), Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras.
  • 3. They were one of if not the earliest culture in the Americas to use a written language, some finds going back to 400 BC.
  • 4. The Jaguar represented strength, holiness, and was a great sign of power.  Believed to rule the Mayan Underworld at night and the sky through the day.
  • 5. There are thousands of historical Maya sites throughout Central America.  In Guatemala these include El Baul, El Ceibal, Dos Pilas, Ixkun, Kaminaljuyu, El Mirador, Naachtun, Nakbe, Naranjo, El Peru or Waka, Piedras Negras, Quirigua, San Bartolo, Q’umarkaj, Tikal, and Yaxha.  In Mexico these include Becan, Calakmul, Chichen Itza, Chunchucmil, Coba, Dzibilchaltun, Mayapan, Oxkintok, Palenque, Tulum, Uxmal, and Yaxchilan.  In Belize the main site is Caracol and in Honduras the main site is Copan.
  • 6. The Eagle symbolized meditative thinking, inner wisdom, focus, along with increased telepathic power.
  • 7. The night sky was believed to be a window showing all supernatural changes.
  • 8. The Maya were known for their knowledge of the stars or astronomy.  From this came calendars called the Haab calendar (365 days), the Mayan sacred almanac (260 days), and the Mayan Long Count Calendar, with one measurement called the Kinchiltun that would represent 1,152,000,000 days or about 3.2 million years.
  • 9. In Mayan mythology the N’awai is the spiritual energy in the form of an egg that surrounds all living things as well as rocks.  This energy indicated how a person was doing, if strong or weak, healthy or ill, or alive or dying.
  • 10. The Maya used a base 20 and base 5 numbering system, where the modern system is based on 10.  With this, you get every decimal is 20 different numbers.  Names were given for the powers of 20, such as Kal for a single 20, Bak for 20 squared or 20×20=400, Pic for 20 cubed or 8,000, Calab for 20 with a 4th power or 160,000, Kinchil for 20 with a 5th power or 3,200,000, and Alau for 20 with a 6th power or 64,000,000.

Use your own network for more

Within one of your Odysen networks, you can create a new folder to help organize your content about different cultures that you’re interested in.  Keep it to yourself or share with others as appropriate.  Within each folder are applications you can add content to, some examples could be:

  • Useful websites: Store websites you’ve found helpful in the websites application, useful to have in a centralized place for later reference.
  • Adding holidays: Use the events application to store any significant holidays for the culture.
  • Taking a poll: If sharing the folder with others and planning a dinner, you can use the Polls application to find out what others in your network would prefer.
  • Planning a trip: If you’re planning on taking a vacation or visiting historical areas, you can use your network to help organize it.  Store websites of places to stay, a note for what you plan on doing or seeing, or you can store and share photos from the trip in the Images application.
  • Organizing a project: This could be for a larger event, festival, or celebration.  You can use the Actions application for any tasks needed, adding their appropriate priority, owner, and due date.

If you don’t have a network yet, you can take a tour to learn more or get started with the free Basic plan.

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Founder and CEO of Odysen, involved with different writing and music freelancing activities, and have previously worked for larger technology businesses in the US, Europe and Asia.