Research papers on the Mayan People discuss their civilization and the people that were a part of this South American and Mexican society. The culture, society and stucture of the Mayan people can be examined in a custom written project from the professional writers at Paper Masters.
Over two thousand years ago, there was a group of people called the Maya. The Maya created a large civilization in parts of southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras. Their society was highly stratified. This means that there were strict categories that every Mayan person fit into, and each group had different levels of resources and power.
Pyramid of Mayan Society
An easy way to understand how these groups divided the Mayan culture is to think of the shape of a pyramid.
- At the top of the pyramid of Mayan society, there was a small group of people who were the rulers. They had the most power, and wealth. Their job was to give leadership, make laws, and defend the safety for all the other Mayans.
- The center portion of the pyramid was made up of the middle class, who had some money and power, but not as much as the rulers.
- Under the middle class was a larger group, made up of commoners, people who didn't have much wealth or power at all.
The commoners helped to support the leaders by giving them gifts and working for them. Mostly, they were farmers living in small villages or towns who raised crops of maize (we call it corn), beans, squash, chili peppers, avocados, papayas, breadnuts, and cotton. At the base of the pyramid was a large group of people who had no money, power, or even freedom. These people were the criminals, prisoners of war, and slaves. Sometimes, people from this group were chosen to sacrificed, or killed in a ceremony. The Mayans did this because they believed that this gift would make their gods happy and make them want to send luck and other good things to the Mayan people.
Class of the Mayan People
The ruling class usually included a king, his family, and a few other important and powerful people, called nobles, who were often also related to the king. The people in this small, powerful group had to use descent tracing to prove that their ancestors were also noble. In other words, it was important for the nobles to keep a family tree that correctly showed who their ancestors were so they could prove that they deserved all the special privileges nobles got to have.