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What was the clothing of the Maya

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The Mayans They were one of the most important and interesting peoples of the ancient world. Distributed in a large part of Central America, for thousands of years, they have shone with their culture on other peoples and all over the world.

But how did the Mayas dress? As they were? What did they look like? We have seen something in our own drawings and paintings and also in others left by the Spanish colonizers, but exactly, what was the clothing of the mayans?

The Mayas

As we have said, the Mayan culture was a mesoamerican culture very important that lasted more than two millennia and shone with its own light. It has known different periods in its development, many of its cities have finally been abandoned, generating many questions today. Later, the Spaniards will arrive, eliminating many of the main characteristics of this culture, either with the sword or with the Bible.

the mayan civilization it was a stratified society, there was an elite and there were commoners although over time the stratification has become more specialized and therefore more complex. The city-states made up the empire where there were warriors, peasants, merchants, slaves, workers, religious, nobles.

above them was the king, of semi-divine status. The heir had to be a man, of her blood, and power fell into the hands of a woman only if there was no male heir. The growth of the heir was marked by initial rites and then there were many ceremonies.

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Even so, 90% of the population were commoners and little is then known of each of them. War was a daily thing, over issues of dominating natural resources and controlling trade routes. Finally, the Maya were great astronomers and mathematicians And while today we may frown upon human sacrifice, the truth is that this practice was quite common in many ancient cultures.

It is precisely from his art and the history of the Spaniards, even through time, that we can know today How did the Maya dress?

What was the clothing of the Maya

As we have said, Mayan society Was a stratified society Yes his way of dressing reflected this. The upper classes dressed in better and more colorful fabrics, wore feathers or gems, while the commoners dressed according to the work they were doing.

In addition, each cultural event required its own costume, so there is not just one Mayan costume but several. A different costume depending on the occasion. Thus, there was war costumes, dance costumes, everyday wear and sportswear.

Thus, in general lines, we have garments that cover the feet, others for the waist, for the torso and arms, head and face. The Mayas they used leather, cotton, skins and to decorate seed, bone, gem and wood ornaments.

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Let’s start with the working class. The workers wore simple clothes that allowed them to work. What did they do? basically they were Farmers so they wore one short skirtthere “patí”, to move easily on the ground, and nothing in the torso. The Pat covered the genitals and sometimes everything could be embroidered with colors, according to the taste of the owner. For its part women wore a longer skirt and loose shirt called huipil.

The huipil covered her shoulders and was colorful. At their feet they carried suede sandals and other skin types. Who could decorate them with wooden or bone objects. Women’s sandals were thinner than men’s. While a peasant wore modest clothing and a craftsman perhaps added a hanging ornament, slaves directly wore only a loincloth and could walk barefoot. If it was sacrificial meat, they were given a decoration.

The simplicity of working-class dress contrasted with the ornate clothing of the Mayan upper class.. Upper-class women wore a long, wide skirt, tied with colored fabrics at the waist. Upstairs they wore baggy, sleeveless shirts, and they were adorned with precious stones. On their heads they wore headdresses with feathers and maybe beads, tiaras, scarves. On the feet, fine laced sandals and precious stones and other decorations. Fur coats were not lacking either.

But where did they get the colors from? The Mayas they used natural pigments, vegetable dyes, to dye your textile clothes. The most imposed colors were the yellow and the blue: yellow represented the color of the snake, corn and its derivatives, and blue was the color of the gods and water. Mayan textiles were a marvel and any textile was considered a gift from the moon goddess, Ixchel. Women were then the spinners and embroiderers par excellence.

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Now well, the costumes will take on another aspect when it comes to a ceremony or a ritual. The rituals revolved around the request of favors to the gods, good harvests for example, and were done regularly according to the lunar cycle. On these occasions, the clothes were more striking and it was the time when the power of families was expressed in clothing.

It was there that the colorful feathersbest precious stones, the best clothes of all. The clothes of the priests included a tail full of feathers, decorations that produced noises during movement (bracelets, rattles), imposing scepters and the image was quite intimidating. Imagine having a guy dressed like that with a knife in his hand about to cut your heart out… How scary!

Last but not least, the body paintings They were part of the dress. Men and women painted their bodies and their faces. Women preferred to paint their faces, and men also added body parts.

Men, for example, painted themselves black until they married. Body art was ephemeral and no longer distinguished social classes as much. Not only could the elite paint their bodies, although it is true that its use in public occasions had its rules.

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