Mayans Weapons, Warriors, and Defensive Techniques

Essay by JonotronJunior High, 7th grade May 2004

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1. General Information

2. Warriors

3. Offense

4. Defense

General Information:

In areas of Late Post classic Mesoamerican times, archaeological work makes known that warfare had a major impact throughout Mesoamerica, even on societies not that were at war. An example of this would be in about the ninth century, when the Mayan empire collapsed into a heap of destruction and war, although nothing was as bad as the Yucatan peninsula. What happened there was chaos and changed the Mayan way of life forever. The wars not only affected political boundaries, but also local industry and economical systems which were needed to produce weapons, and also support their local armies.

Religion and its contributions:

Religion was a fairly big part of battle too. Even their main god, Sun Jaguar, was the god of war. Jaguars freely roam the jungles of the Yucatan peninsula. The Maya respected the jaguar as a skilled hunter, but also as much more than just an agile feline.

The Jaguar God was very important to the Maya religion. It was a symbol of life and death. The jaguar was the sun, both as it passed overhead and as it journeyed nightly through the underworld called Xibalbá (shee-bal-ba). While the jaguar was in the sky, its name was Kinich Ahau (kee-neech ahau), the daytime sun god. He dwelt in the highest levels of heaven. The sun god was a domineering, "fire-eyed lord" who was appeased by offerings of sacrificial beheadings. You could say the spiritual part of battle was just as important as the material part.

It's astonishing how there aren't a lot of friendly executions. I ponder sometimes on how you know the other nation from your own when you're in a blood bath. Even arrows graze the warriors in the frontline.