In the period of paganism, each tribe and people had many gods. The pantheon of the Maya and Aztec Indians included more than one and a half hundred gods, one way or another influencing people's lives and world order.
Religious Life of the Maya Indians
Religion played a dominant role in the society of the ancient Maya Indians. They had many different ceremonies designed to propitiate this or that god, and very often the crown of the rite was a sacrifice. If the tribe flourished, the sacrifices were limited to plants, animals, ornaments, if the tribe overtook the misfortune, both the tribesmen and the enemies were sacrificed. The most cruel gift to God was a trembling heart, torn from a living person. The victim's body was thrown off the steps of the pyramid after the ritual murder.
The variety of the Maya gods
Among the gods of Maya were both good and evil. The Lord of Hezman was considered the master of the sky, the creator of the world, day and night, the patron of the sciences and writing of the Maya. He was portrayed as a wise old man or a flying dragon.
Ischamna was considered to be Ish-Chel, the patroness of healers, creativity, women and children. She was prayed for fertility and health. She personified Ish-Chela with the Moon and a sorceress with features of a jaguar and snakes instead of hair.
Supreme power, nobility, will, wisdom and skill personified Kukulkan, who was portrayed in the form a snake or an eagle. This god patronized artisans and other working people, he was approached with a request for the necessary rain and tailwind.
Maya was treated with respect to the god of death, who was called Ah-Puig. This lord of the underworld was most often depicted as a skeleton. For suicides, the Maya had a special goddess, Ishkat.
Water elements and various phenomena associated with water, ruled Chuck. His Maya was represented in four incarnations: red, black, yellow and white. This god also dealt with the liberation of land for plowing, so his symbols were an ax and a torch.
The favorite god of the people was Yum-Kaash, whose cult is associated with seasonal changes in nature. He was portrayed as Yum-Kaash in the form of a young man with a corn cob in place of his head.