He is also one of the founders of In Tlilli In Tlapalli — pre-hispanic blog where you can read many more fascinating articles by him, and other knowledgeable, well-versed in history people. Women in Mesoamerican societies In Mesoamerican society women played a very important role, not only among the Mexica Aztecsbut among the other Nahua cultures as well.
Duality[ edit ] The Mesoamerican understanding of the universe was guided by parallelisms, or dualities. In the Mesoamerican universe, everything formed a part of a pair. Three themes in Mesoamerican cosmovision[ edit ] Worldmaking[ edit ] The Mesoamerican world was made or structured to reflect their cosmovision.
Societies were organized around huge, urban ceremonial centers, which were in turn constructed to reflect the cosmos through architecture, placement with relation to celestial bodies, and artwork.
Mesoamericans, who viewed their landscape in terms of cardinal directions,  saw these urban centers as axis mundiplaces where divine power reaches the earth, and is diffused from there. Worldcentering[ edit ] Its rulers and ancestors centered the Mesoamerican world.
Ancestor worship, deification of rulers, and reverence for royal lineages were the foci in societies throughout Mesoamerica. Worldrenewing[ edit ] Worldrenewing or rejuvenation was achieved through a variety of ritual practices, ceremonial sacrifice, and adherence to calendar systems.
Human sacrifice[ edit ] Mesoamericans did not understand human sacrifice as a malicious act, but rather sacrifices were carried out in an effort to renew and center their world, as well as pay debts to the gods.
Mesoamericans carried out ritual sacrifice in order to balance, center, and renew their cosmo-magical world, which hinged upon ever-present duality: Evidence[ edit ] Cosmovision is understood as one of the structures that is found throughout Mesoamerican history.
It is evident that the concept was one adopted in varying forms by all Mesoamerican cultures, and aided in perpetuating a cultural cohesion. Although the cultural construct evolved over time as it was utilized by various Mesoamerican cultures, the three core themes of worldmaking, worldcentering, and worldrenewing were central to its use.
Primary sources in the historical and archaeological records make it clear that themes of worldmaking, centering and renewal can be found throughout Mesoamerica.
Textual primary sources[ edit ] Title page of the Popol Vuh Cosmovision themes of worldmaking, centering, and renewing are described extensively in the Popol Vuh, an ancient Mayan book, which describes the Mayan belief system concerning the creation of the world, the deities and their roles within the cosmos, as well as the importance of rulers.
The survival of this text through translation, first as a hieroglyphic text and later as an alphabetic text, indicates that this book was paramount in preserving Mayan culture, which was inextricably linked to Mayan cosmovision.
Throughout the Popol Vuh, the themes common to Mesoamerican cosmovision such as the concept of axis mundi, ritual sacrifice and ceremony, and duality and parallelism, are repeatedly presented.
Worldmaking, centering, and renewing are all depicted in the hero stories of Hunahpu and XbalanqueOne Hunahpu, and Seven Hunahpu, as well as the story concerning the conception of humans in the Popol Vuh.
If one considers the major urban centers throughout Mesoamerica, such as CopanTikalTeotihuacanand Tenochtitlan to name a few, it is possible to discern very obvious, shared characteristics.
This is apparent in the building of massive pyramid sites, which represented the axis mundi in societies. They were places that embodied worldmaking, representing the creation beliefs, visually paralleling notions of the way in which the cosmos was organized.
These urban sites also centered the Mesoamerican world by providing places where rulers could give people in society physical, and ultimately spiritual, access to their cosmovision. Finally, these urban centers provided a place for worldrenewal, where ritual ceremony and sacrifice took place.
Post-conquest sources[ edit ] A final example, the 16th century Mapa de Cuauhtinchan, illustrates how powerful and enduring the Mesoamerican cosmovision was. Ancestor worship is a common theme in Mesoamerican cosmovision. The northern, Nahautl-speaking people all shared a common origin story, which is depicted in the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan.
This map serves not only to center the Mesoamerican world through the stories of its ancestors and rulers, but also depicts urban centers, which reflect worldmaking. Finally, the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan also reveals ceremonial rituals, an essential component of worldrenewing.
All of these themes are clearly important to native Mesoamericans right up through the Colonial Period.The term Mesoamerica denotes the part of Mexico and Central America that was civilized in pre-Spanish times.
In many respects, the American Indians who inhabited Mesoamerica were the most advanced native peoples in the Western Hemisphere. Duality. The Mesoamerican understanding of the universe was guided by parallelisms, or dualities.
the deities and their roles within the cosmos, as well as the importance of rulers. The survival of this text through translation, first as a hieroglyphic text and later as an . For Mesoamerican society, virginity was a very important factor, because when a woman lost hers before the marriage, she was less likely to be accepted by a man, .
Ancient Mesoamerica: Maize (Corn) Posted on March 31, by Ojibwa When the Europeans began their invasion of the Americas, they found that the indigenous people of the continent, generally called American Indians, had a highly developed agricultural system.
The Importance of Mesoamerica Posted on April 29, by Benjamin Peck Of all the sites we studied throughout the semester, though many were extremely interesting and of great importance, the American sites stood out to me as the most significant. Abstract Models currently employed to investigate gender ideologies and practices in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica tend to rely on binary constructions.
As a result, if applied uncritically to archaeological case studies, they may obscure variability and marginalize the .