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Anthropology Museum

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Mayan social pyramid

The Mayan culture represented a social structure based on the ruling hierarchy, considered of direct lineage with the gods, therefore, were responsible for preserving the order, stability, and continuity of civilization, according to the divine and universal mandate.

The elite class or called almenehoob was the privileged group that had a direct consanguinity with the founders of the Mayan culture. The Mayan social pyramid was organized as follows: Ruler or Halach Uinic, who retained absolute power over earthly or spiritual affairs, always being his inherited position by the eldest son. Priests or Ahau Kan possessed the knowledge related to Mayan astronomy, fundamental for the development of the economy based on agriculture. They also dominated the secrets of the Mayan calendar, wrote the codices and organized religious rituals in the temples. Nobles and warriors, being the third sector of importance, the former made the administrative functions of the city-state, and the latter was responsible for the defense and expansion of the territory. Artisans and peasants or Ah Chembal Uinicoob, being the inferior class of the Mayan culture, were dedicated to agriculture, construction of public works, and handicrafts. Among his obligations was paying taxes to civil or religious authorities. In addition, they lived in the neighborhoods of the cities, having some the condition of nobles or warriors according to the caste to which they belonged. Slaves or pentacoob was composed of prisoners of war, offenders or criminals, who were forced to perform forced labor and usually sacrificed in religious ceremonies.

Anthropology Museum