Ancient America was inhabited by a number of tribes. The Olmecs, Chavìns, Mayas, Moches, Anasazi, Teotihuacáns, Aztecs, Hopewells, Mississippians, Navajos, and Incas are among the most commonly known tribes. It’s established that the early inhabitants of America migrated from Asia by the Beringia land bridge 75,000 years ago. So on this blog I’ll be writing about my four favourite aspects of the ancient Americans, hoping to help thrust out a little of your quarantine boredom, or put you to sleep: either way works for me.
Rise of the Inca.
Around A.D. 1200, the Inca settled in Cuzco, which later on became their capital city. Expansion began during the reign of Pachacuti, the ninth Inca ruler, who, along with his son, Topa Inca Yupanqui, expanded their boundaries north and south by applying force. Historians have compared the both to the great Alexander of Macedonia. The empire was built on military might and a good road system. A common language, quechua, was established which further united the people under the emperor. Incas believed in many deities and priests offered sacrifices to please the deities,including human sacrifices. The Inca kept records by using a rope with knoted cords of different length and color called a quipu.The knots represented a different item or number. The Inca’s chief means of transport were the llamas.Machu Picchu ~ An Incan town.The great mounds.
In the 1800s, people believed the great earthworks to be the works of a race of giants. Some of the mounds are so large they can be recognized from air, others are ornate, and represent animals. The most mysterious one of them all is the great serpent mound; unlike others, it contains no graves or artifacts and the serpent is about to swallow a huge oval.The speculations are:The mound was used to mark time or seasons for planting and harvesting since the serpent’s head aligns with the summer solstice sunset and the tail points to the winter solstice sunrise. Scholars also suggested that the curves on the snake’s body align to the two solstices and equinoxes. Another speculation is that the mound was used to determine the true north and served as a compass, since the first curve on the snake’s torso after the head matches the Pole star of the Draco constellation. Another, is that it’s a documentation of a solar eclipse with the oval representing the sun. Or maybe just a place of worship for the snake god or goddess. We may never know for sure.
A Mayan creation myth.
Mayan beliefs are all based on the fact that everything is k’uh, sacred. Mayan creation myths are contained in two books; the Popol vuh and Chilam Balam. According to the Mayans, everything was in suspense, motionless and still and nothing but the creators existed. By nature, they were great thinkers, and they decided when the day dawned for the first time, the human being must appear. Thus they spoke, ” let there be light, let there be dawn in the sky and on earth, “. Mayans believed there were three humans’ creations; At first, people were made out of mud, but the gods realized they had no minds, therefore destroying them. They then made man out of wood and woman out of reeds before realizing their creations had no souls and therefore destroyed them by boiling water ( the few who survived became the monkeys of today ), the gods then made man and woman out of maize with the blood of the gods, after which they realized the men and women were too wise and a threat to their authority, and therefore wanted to destroy them. However, Huracán, the heart of heaven, made the humans less wise by clouding their minds and eyes.
Mayan ball game.
The Mayan ball game was one of the most important rituals. A rubber ball was kept bouncing by the players using the leather pads on their elbows, wrist, hips, torso and shoulders to symbolize the order of the universe.
Making a goal by passing the ball through a hoop was so rare that when a player scored, the crowd rewarded him with clothing and jewelry. In some cases, the losing team members were sacrificed to the gods. Human sacrifices could either be carried out by decapitation, removal of the heart from a living person, or throwing the person into a cenote, a natural well, as a sacrifice to the gods.