Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How The Mayans Honor The Death Of The Members Of The Family And Society

By Linda Patterson

The Mayas were known to be religious and death is really honored by them. Although they honor death, they still fear it because it is the day their God will judge them and afraid of the judgement for he might get angry on them although these people believe in a heaven like life after death. Once a member of the society dies or the member of their family, they would show their great respect by mourning and sharing about the accomplishments of the dead while he was still alive.

There are some deaths that the Mayans considered it more dignified when compared to other deaths. Whenever someone died because of fighting in the battleground, offered themselves as sacrifices and pregnant women who died in the battle of blood because of giving birth to their baby are considered noble and believed that were directly brought to the heavens and savor the pleasure of their life after death.

Xibalba, the underworld is the hell version of the Mayans. It is the place for those who have died who were involved in crime and those have been greedy. They are bound to suffer until eternity as a result of their doings while they were still alive.

Whenever they don't fall in any of these categories, Mayans believed that they are still on their way to heaven and might have the chance to live a second life through rebirth. Those who belong to the significant Mayan family will serve as deities watching over their descendants as well as their family members.

The Mayans believed that heavens are in the North and West part that is why the burial sites are pointing at these directions. For some, they were buried in the caves because they also believe that it is the entrance to the other world. They were buried with maize, jade, and stone beads on their mouth. It is done with the belief that they need it in order not to be hungry and for them to have currency as they continue their journey. On their journey towards the spirit world, they also offer whistles and small carvings of deity to be their guide. Red is the color of death and rebirth for them and it is painted in the walls of the tomb and as well as the body of the dead.

The dead will be in a sitting position and will be laid flat just as the contemporary way of burying the dead in the present times. Cremation was another common way of burying the dead. The social status and the era which they died suggest how they will be buried. Those who belong in the high ranks will be laid in family crypts. This is why rulers are buried in the ceremonial building.

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