ARC2ANM Essay: What was the nature of Classic Maya belief regarding the Moon Goddess?by Caroline Seawright
Year 2 Essay for Ancient Maya Civilisation of Mexico and Guatemala at LaTrobe University, Jun 2011.
The Classic Maya (250-900 A.D. (Coe 2011, p. 9)) believed in a pantheon of gods, although their belief system was somewhat different than that of classical western cultures. Maya gods are actually 'sacred entities' (Houston & Stuart 1996, p. 291) who overlapped with each other in terms of identity and function (Foster 2002, p. 164). In trying to understand the nature of the Classic Maya belief in the Moon Goddess, this must be kept in mind. The gender ambiguity of the Moon Goddess, manifested through the Moon-Maize deity, gave Maya royalty access to powers denied to normal humans; a power sustained by the belief of the Classic Maya people. Within this essay the Moon Goddess will thus be discussed in relation to iconography, nomenclature and role; her gender in relation to the phases of the moon; her purview as symbolised by the net skirt; her connection to God CH as the full moon; her conflation with the Tonsured Maize God and the new gender which is formed; and, finally, the impersonation of the Moon-Maize deity by Maya elite.
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Seawright, C 2011, What was the nature of Classic Maya belief regarding the Moon Goddess?, Articles by Caroline Seawright, <http://www.thekeep.org/~kunoichi/ kunoichi/themestream/ ARC2ANM.html>.
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