Continuity and change in mesoamerican religion


Cocijo, the rain god, also had a quadruple form of presence in the world. We can learn a lot by seeing what remains constant and what changes over time, what it is thought necessary to maintain in a new situation, and what can be compromised upon.

These findings reveal that a preoccupation with the sacred cycles of time resulted in extraordinary achievements as early as several decades bce.


The double-headed serpent covers and embraces the earth. Several Mixtec books of religious and historical content have survived.

Unlike the Zapotec and Mixtec, who had a cult to the dead, this Totonac culture apparently maintained a cult to death itself. The calendar was doubtless the result of assiduous astronomical observation. Caves and cults The most sacred place in the Teotihuacan complex was the spot where the Sun pyramid stood, underneath which lies a sacred cave.

According to Noel Morelos, the archaeologist who discovered it, the image is somewhat similar to Tlaloc figures in the Tetitla and Tepantitla murals at Teotihuacan.

Cholula About two hundred kilometers to the southeast, Cholula was a sister city to Teotihuacan during the Classic period; Quetzalcoatl was its principal god. It demonstrated how extraordinary humans could enter Xibalba, outwit the gods of death, and return, and thus was a metaphor for the greatest life force in the cosmos, the sun which emerges from Xibalba every morning.

Other kinds of human sacrifice included shooting arrows at a victim tied to a frame of wood, beheading, and throwing the victim—usually a young girl or child—into a cenote Maya, dz'onot, a natural deposit of water in places where the limestone surface has caved in or into a lake, as in certain sites in Guatemala.

This myth may have been invented a posteriori by the Aztec in order to explain the creation of their own era, the Fifth Sun, associated with the "place where the gods are made" i. In acquiring their sacrifices, the Aztec would wage flower wars in which they would go to conquered towns and capture victims for sacrifice at their capital city of Denominational.

The Dual God resides in the uppermost of the celestial levels. Men who governed were deeply enmeshed in ritual. At El Zapotal, yokes, axes, and smiling figures have also been found, although the latter are more typical of Remojadas, a site north of El Zapotal noted for its splendid clay sculpture.

The smiling figures are just that: Although this rich region is called Totonacapan, the Totonac, for whom it was named, were a late group; the modern inhabitants are still Totonac. Origins of the calendar The earliest evidence of calendrical computations—inscriptions discovered in places influenced by Olmec culture—also conveys other related information.

Although women are allocated such tasks as sowing, with all its association with fertility, they are rigidly excluded from ploughing. Thus, all the sacred duties of the priests—the ceremonies, sacrifices, and invocations—were not performed at random but followed established cycles.

The vast quadrangle 4. One finds in Classic inscriptions and Postclassic codices hieroglyphs for each of the world quadrants and their associated colors. The Mayans furthermore used the stars to schedule sacrifices, write the Amman Codices, and orient buildings. The elements of this complex seem to form part of the ritual ball game.

On the mountaintops, rites to the rain gods were held, for here the clouds gathered and formed the precious liquid.

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Other clay figures are "puppets," with movable arms and legs, nude bodies, and carefully made and adorned heads. Thus, if the day 13 Ahau 13 Lord is repeated within a day solar count, one can distinguish two different dates by noting the day to which it corresponds in the series of the 18 months.

The plan of the Zapotec temple at this time, with an inner chamber reserved for members of the cult, points to the existence of full-time priests and an incipient state religion Flannery, in Flannery and Marcus,p.

Pyramids were erected on broad platforms; a stairway was built to reach the summit of the temple; and below, in the open space of the great plaza, the people would attend the rituals performed on top of the pyramid.

According to archaeologist Eduardo Merlo, the earliest pyramid at Cholula c. Both "Tlalocs" are associated with water, although the latter, because his image is found in foreign centers and is related to persons who may be representatives of the Teotihuacan state, seems to be connected with military and foreign relations as well.

The temple in each city was the axis mundi, the center of the universe. Mesoamerican religion possessed a cosmology that saw the visible world as multitiered, consisting of the Above Realm of the heavens; the middle Earthly Realm, the home of living humanity; and the watery Beneath Realm of the dead and thus of the ancestors.

Continuity in Change The Roman style of life long survived the Roman Empire, and little changed on the ground throughout the lands of the former empire in the aftermath of the empire’s “fall.” Romans and non- Romans drew together to face a new threat, however. All cultures are centered around belief structures that continue over a long period time, but some of the practices and rituals associated with these beliefs can become.

Change and Continuity Over Time: Toltec/Mexica and Inca Traditions. Continuity Change Video Change Toltec Toltec Art Change Continuity Art Art was a very important part of Toltecs' everyday life. The Toltecs' strong belief in military and religion affected their art.

The Rise of Universal Religions, 300–600 CE

Their art was also influenced by the Teotihuacan and Olmec cultures. Change and continuity are both prevalent in this time, but change is the primary element from to When discussing change in the late 's a few things come to mind, but the progression of capitalism was a major catalyst for most of them.

Gender roles in Mesoamerica

Transcript of Continuity and Change in Aztec Culture. Continuity and Change in Aztec Culture During it's brief history the Aztec Empire was able to aggressively expand its political and economic dominion over much of central Mexico.

The Aztec Empire was established around the year and lasted through polytheistic religion was.

Continuity and change in mesoamerican religion
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Mesoamerican Religions: Pre-Columbian Religions |