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1 The Left  Fri, Aug 3, 2012 5:27:35am


2 Varek Raith  Fri, Aug 3, 2012 5:47:59am

I was wondering where I put that...

3 Destro  Fri, Aug 3, 2012 6:42:42am

I don't know if that was the case for the Maya but I recall reading that one of the drives for human sacrifice for the Aztecs was that because their food supply was poor on protein, the human sacrifices the Aztec performed, which in the end involved cannibalism, served as a source for protein to the upper classes at least.

4 CuriousLurker  Fri, Aug 3, 2012 7:56:43am

Wow, fascinating. And more than a little creepy....

I remember visiting Teotihuacán when I was around 17. We climbed up to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun and—thanks to my vivid imagination—despite the amazing view, all I could think of were the gruesome methods of Aztec sacrifice and rivers of blood running down the steps on each side. Gah! *shudder*

Nonetheless, it was great to be able to visit & see things first-hand. If you're ever in Mexico City, you don't want to miss the Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Museum of Anthropology). The Maya weren't as prolific as the Aztecs when it came to human sacrifice, but still. The artifacts you can see there are amazing, especially the fantastic ceremonial costumes and stone carvings—so gorgeous. The obsidian knives used for sacrifices, um...*gulp*. Anyway, here's a video clip (in Spanish) about the permanent Maya exhibit.

If you're ever in Texas or any of the other states bordering Mexico, check out out some of the stores that sell folk art. The Aztec preoccupation with death still runs through it, often in an odd fusion with Christian themes. At times, it's even presented in an almost comical, lighthearted way (e.g. La Catrina).

5 SpaceJesus  Fri, Aug 3, 2012 8:27:08am

they worshiped dick cheney?

6 alinuxguru  Fri, Aug 3, 2012 8:27:13am

I bet later generations of Mayans never "reimagined" their blood gods went to high school or glittered when sunlight directly hit them.

7 SanFranciscoZionist  Fri, Aug 3, 2012 1:29:49pm

re: #6 alinuxguru

I bet later generations of Mayans never "reimagined" their blood gods went to high school or glittered when sunlight directly hit them.

Don't give anyone ideas.

Mesoamerican religion is fascinating stuff. The dramatic mass sacrifices, of course, attract a lot of attention, (and freaked the Spanish right out), but I read when I was researching the Aztecs for a middle-school history class I taught that ordinary people would give a little blood to the gods every day, pricking their earlobes with cactus thorns. The gods gave blood to create the universe, and they were owed some back.

Immensely complicated cultures. The art is unbelievable.

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