What most people know about the Mayan culture is limited to things like pyramids and calendars. But there is a lot more to that Mesoamerican culture that once inhabited vast areas from southern Mexico to most of Central America. Here are some interesting facts about the Mayan’s.
Many people believe that the Mayan people no longer exist. The fact is that there are still Mayans living in their home regions. There are over seven million Mayans alive today and many of them have retained remnants of their ancient culture. Most Mayans living today are in the Mexican state of Yucatan.
The Mayans had interesting ideas on beauty and often shaped their children to take on what would be considered strange characteristics today. Some notable examples are the pressing of boards onto the foreheads of babies to make them flatter. Incredibly, crossed eyes were a desirable trait and often the eyes of newborns were trained to become crossed by dangling things in front of them until the crossing became permanent.
The Mayans were known to have advanced medical practices. It is known that the Maya sutured wounds using human hair, reduced fractures and were skilled dental surgeons. They were known to make prostheses from jade and turquoise and fill teeth with iron pyrite.
Hallucinogenic drugs were used by the Mayans as pain killers or at times for religious rituals. Flora such as peyote, the morning glory, certain mushrooms, tobacco, and plants used to make alcoholic substances, were commonly used.
The big mystery regarding the Mayan culture is why it collapsed. The collapse of the Mayan civilization is still the subject of much debate. Most of what Is generally known today is that the Mayan centers of the southern lowlands went into decline during the 8th and 9th centuries and were abandoned shortly thereafter. Other than that, there are just theories and opinions on why the Mayan civilization ended.