The Maya People & Civilization, From Wikipedia (Subtitulos en Español)

The Maya People & Civilization, From Wikipedia (Subtitulos en Español)


THE MAYA PEOPLES FORM A DIVERSE
RANGE OF THE NATIVE AMERICAN PEOPLES OF SOUTHERN MEXICO AND
NORTHERN CENTRAL AMERICA. THE MOST POPULATIONS OF MAYA ARE IN THE MEXICAN STATES OF
YUCATÁN, CAMPECHE, QUINTANA ROO, TABASCO, AND CHIAPAS, AND IN THE CENTRAL AMERICAN
COUNTRIES OF BELIZE, GUATEMALA, AND THE WESTERN PORTIONS OF
HONDURAS AND EL SALVADOR. THE “MAYA CIVILISATION” IS A GROUP OF
PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN CENTRAL AMERICA. THEY HAVE BEEN AROUND
FOR A LONG TIME. THEY STARTED UP AROUND 4,000
YEARS AGO (ABOUT 2000 BC). THE MAYANS ARE FAMOUS FOR BEING THE
ONLY PEOPLE IN THE AMERICAS TO HAVE A COMPLETELY WRITTEN LANGUAGE BEFORE
COLUMBUS ARRIVED THERE IN 1492 AD. THEY WERE REALLY GOOD AT
ART AND BUILDING, HAD GREAT SKILL IN MATHEMATICS
AND WORKED OUT A LOT ABOUT THE STARS AND PLANETS,
WHICH HELPED THEM MAKE CALENDARS BEFORE
ANYONE ELSE IN THE AREA. THE MAYA CIVILISATION WAS AT
ITS BIGGEST AND MOST ADVANCED FROM ABOUT 250 AD TO 900 AD.
WE HAVE FOUND EVIDENCE OF THE MAYA CIVILISATION ALL
THE WAY FROM CENTRAL MEXICO TO HONDURAS, GUATEMALA,
AND NORTHERN EL SALVADOR. WE KNOW THEY TRADED WITH OTHER
CIVILISATIONS IN THE AMERICAS BECAUSE THEIR ART AND BUILDINGS
HAVE LOTS OF DIFFERENT STYLES. THE MAYA CIVILISATION STARTED
GETTING SMALLER AFTER 900 AD. NO-ONE KNOWS QUITE
WHY THIS HAPPENED. THE SPANISH ARRIVED IN THE 15TH AND 16TH
CENTURY AND SETTLED OVER OR CONQUERED MOST OF CENTRAL AMERICA, INCLUDING IN MAYAN AREAS.
HOWEVER, THE MAYAN PEOPLE ARE STILL HERE TODAY. THEIR RELATIVES CAN BE FOUND IN THE AREAS THE MAYAN
CIVILISATION USED TO LIVE IN, AND THEY STILL KEEP TO SOME OF THE OLD MAYAN TRADITIONS AND
BELIEFS, MIXING THEM WITH ROMAN CATHOLICISM. THERE ARE MANY MAYAN LANGUAGES STILL SPOKEN
TODAY, INCLUDING ONE CALLED THE ACHI LANGUAGE. A PLAY CALLED RABINAL ACHI, WRITTEN
BEFORE THE SPANISH INVADED MAYAN LANDS, WAS GIVEN AN AWARD IN 2005
CALLED MASTERPIECES OF THE ORAL AND INTANGIBLE HERITAGE OF HUMANITY BY UNESCO
FOR BEING VERY IMPORTANT TO THE WORLD. THE FIRST MAYA SETTLEMENTS
STARTED ABOUT 1800 BC. THEY LIVED IN THE SOCONUSCO
REGION, NOW THE STATE OF CHIAPAS IN MEXICO, ON
THE PACIFIC OCEAN. THIS IS CALLED THE “EARLY PRE-CLASSIC
PERIOD” IN MAYAN HISTORY’. PEOPLE IN CENTRAL AMERICA
HAD BEEN NOMADS WHO WENT FROM PLACE TO PLACE TO
FIND FOOD AND SHELTER. AROUND THIS TIME THEY
BEGAN TO SETTLE DOWN. THEY STARTED TO FARM ANIMALS AND
MAKE POTTERY AND SMALL CLAY FIGURES THEY BURIED THEIR DEAD IN SIMPLE BURIAL MOUNDS.
LATER THEY STARTED TO MAKE THESE MOUNDS INTO STEP PYRAMIDS.
THERE WERE OTHER PEOPLE AROUND AT THE TIME, ESPECIALLY IN THE NORTH.
THE OLMEC, THE MIXE-ZOQUE, AND ZAPOTEC CIVILIZATIONS MOSTLY LIVED
IN THE AREA WE NOW CALL OAXACA. WE DON’T KNOW EXACTLY WHERE
THE BORDERS OF THE MAYA CIVILISATION WERE.
MANY OF THE MOST IMPORTANT EARLY EXAMPLES OF WRITING AND
BUILDINGS APPEARED IN NORTH, SO THESE CULTURES PROBABLY
AFFECTED THE MAYA CIVILISATION. FROM ABOUT 250 TO 909, THE
MAYA CIVILISATION BUILT MANY MONUMENTS AND CITIES, AND MADE
LOTS OF IMPORTANT CARVINGS. THE “SOUTHERN LOWLANDS” WERE AN
IMPORTANT PLACE AT THE TIME. THE MAYA CIVILISATION MADE LOTS OF
DISCOVERIES ABOUT ART AND THINKING THERE. LIKE ANCIENT GREECE, THEIR
CIVILIZATION WAS MADE UP OF LOTS OF CITIES, WHICH ALL
WORKED IN DIFFERENT WAYS. PEOPLE GATHERED AROUND THESE CITIES TO FARM.
WELL-KNOWN CITIES WERE TIKAL, PALENQUE, COPÁN AND CALAKMUL.
LESSER-KNOWN CITIES WERE DOS PILAS, UAXACTUN, ALTUN
HA, AND BONAMPAK, AMONG OTHERS. IN GENERAL, WE KNOW MORE
ABOUT WHERE THE CITIES WERE IN THE SOUTH THAN WE DO IN THE NORTH.
SOME NORTHERN CITIES WE DO KNOW ABOUT WERE OXKINTOK,
CHUNCHUCMIL, AND UXMAL. THEIR MOST FAMOUS MONUMENTS
ARE THE PYRAMIDS THEY BUILT AS PART OF
THEIR RELIGIOUS CENTERS, AND THE PALACES. THE PALACE AT CANCUÉN IS
THE LARGEST WE KNOW ABOUT IN THE MAYA AREA. THE MAYA ALSO MADE CARVED
STONE SLABS WHICH THEY CALLED TETUN, OR “TREE-STONES”.
THESE SLABS SHOW RULERS ALONG WITH HIEROGLYPHIC WRITING
DESCRIBING THEIR FAMILY, MILITARY VICTORIES, AND OTHER
THINGS THAT THEY DID WELL. THE MAYA HAD TRADE ROUTES
THAT RAN OVER LONG DISTANCES. THEY TRADED WITH MANY OTHER MESOAMERICAN
CULTURES, SUCH AS TEOTIHUACAN, THE ZAPOTEC, AND OTHER GROUPS IN
CENTRAL AND GULF-COAST MEXICO. THEY ALSO TRADED WITH GROUPS
THAT WERE FARTHER AWAY. FOR EXAMPLE, PEOPLE WHO STUDY
THE MAYA CIVILISATION FOUND GOLD FROM PANAMA IN THE
SACRED WELL AT CHICHEN ITZA. SOME IMPORTANT THINGS THEY TRADED WERE CACAO,
SALT, SEA SHELLS, JADE AND OBSIDIAN. BETWEEN 900 AD AND 1000 AD,
THE CITIES IN THE SOUTHERN LOWLANDS HAD MORE AND MORE PROBLEMS
UNTIL ALL THE PEOPLE LEFT. THE MAYA CIVILISATION THERE STOPPED
MAKING BIG MONUMENTS AND CARVINGS. PEOPLE WHO STUDY THE MAYA CIVILISATION
ARE NOT SURE WHY THIS HAPPENED. THEY HAVE MANY DIFFERENT IDEAS – SOME PEOPLE THINK THERE WAS A BIG
ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER, OR A DISEASE AFFECTED A LOT OF PEOPLE,
OR THERE WERE JUST TOO MANY PEOPLE FOR THE AMOUNT
OF FOOD THEY COULD GROW. IN THE NORTH, THE MAYA
CIVILISATION KEPT GOING. OTHER CULTURES STARTED MIXING
WITH MAYAN CULTURE MUCH MORE. SOME OF THE IMPORTANT SITES IN THIS TIME
WERE CHICHEN ITZA, UXMAL, EDZNÁ, AND COBA. AT SOME POINT, THE FAMILIES
WHO RULED OVER CHICHEN AND UXMAL GOT WEAKER AND
THE RULERS IN THE CITY OF MAYAPAN RULED ALL OF THE
MAYAN CIVILISATION IN THE YUCATÁN PENINSULA UNTIL
THERE WAS A REVOLT IN 1450. AFTER THE REVOLT, THE WHOLE AREA BROKE
UP INTO DIFFERENT CITIES WHO FOUGHT AGAINST EACH OTHER, UNTIL THE
AREA WAS CONQUERED BY THE SPANISH. THE ITZA MAYA, KO’WOJ,
AND YALAIN GROUPS AROUND WHAT IS NOW GUATEMALA WERE
STILL AROUND, BUT THERE WEREN’T VERY MANY OF THEM.
BY 1250, THEY HAD BUILT THEMSELVES BACK UP AGAIN AND
STARTED TO BUILD CITIES. THE ITZA HAD THEIR CAPITAL AT TAYASAL
(ALSO KNOWN AS NOH PETÉN), AND PEOPLE WHO STUDY THE MAYA CIVLISATION THINK WHAT’S
LEFT OF THIS CITY IS BELOW THE MODERN CITY OF FLORES, GUATEMALA ON LAKE PETÉN ITZÁ.
THE KO’WOJ HAD THEIR CAPITAL AT ZACPETEN. SOME MAYAN CULTURES WERE STILL
LIVING IN THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS. THE QUICHÉ KINGDOM PRODUCED THE MOST
FAMOUS MAYAN WORK, THE POPOL VUH. IT TALKS ABOUT THE CREATION
OF THE WORLD, THE MAYAN GODS AND GODDESSES, HOW HUMANS
AND ANIMALS WERE CREATED AND WHY THE QUICHÉ KINGDOM WAS THE BEST
ONE IN THE MAYA CIVILISATION. THE SPANISH STARTED TO CONQUER MAYA LANDS.
IT TOOK THEM A LONG TIME (170 YEARS) TO FINISH DOING THIS BECAUSE THE MAYANS HAD NO CAPITAL
CITY AND EACH CITY HAD A DIFFERENT CULTURE. THE LAST MAYAN STATES, THE ITZA CITY OF TAYASAL
AND THE KO’WOJ CITY OF ZACPETEN, STILL HAD PEOPLE LIVING IN THEM LATE INTO THE 17TH CENTURY.
THEY WERE FINALLY CONQUERED IN 1697. THERE ARE STILL ABOUT 6 MILLION MAYA
PEOPLE LIVING IN CENTRAL AMERICA.

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