The Maya Culture

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The Maya Culture

World history had a variety of cultures that contribute to our societies. One of the cultures is the Maya. Throughout their history the Maya were in contact with other groups of Indians on all sides, particularly with the nations of Mexico. For long periods sections of the Maya were under the political domination of Mexican rulers. Under such circumstances intermarriages must have been frequent. The Maya are therefore as mixed a race as most European peoples. The Maya country varied in its climate. The greatest developments were the center of the lowlands and highlands of northern Guatemala. It also included the Yucatan Peninsula, the northwest to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and southwest into Honduras and El Salvador (Brainerd 7). The Maya culture had interesting aspects in their civilization or that they accomplished over time. The important aspects of the Mayas are their physical characteristics, how they dress, their social organization, the agriculture, art and techniques, religion, god and goddesses, architecture, trade, mathematics and government.

The physical characteristics of the Maya culture are the following; they were short, long-bodied, and chunky, with good muscle development and a tendency to gain weight. The heads were broad, lips prominent, noses had a high convex bridge and curved pendulous tip. The chin and forehead were somewhat receding, eyes had a mongoloid cast with heavy lids and cheekbones were prominent. Skin color varied from medium to dark-brown, and the hair was black, straight to rarely wavy (Brainerd 9). A greater physical variability among the highlands Maya, the language diversity, and the historical accounts all suggest that they have been subject to much more outside influence than have the lowland peoples. The Maya language is spoken by most Yucatecans. But many of them do not speak Spanish. There is evidence of...