Maya Blue Painting      

Objectives of the Lesson  

Students will use the Internet to obtain an overview of the following information:

Las preguntas  (How to complete this assignment)

Answer the questions below, using college level English, based on information you gather from the Web sites that are linked in this lesson.  Be sure to answer in your own words, giving as much detail as possible.  As always - effort counts.   Question #9 is very important and should contain some thought-provoking comments related to your opinions and questions about the Maya.  If any of the links are not active, just skip them and move on to the next sections.  


Who were/are the Mayas?

There is a plethora of books and publications on the subject.   After completing this lesson, you may want to learn more!  Start planning your next trip. 

The Maya civilization can be classified in three major time periods:

Mesoamerica is an area that encompasses most of Mexico, all of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and part of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.  Maya civilization developed over centuries throughout Mesoamerica.  Major Maya sites can be found in southern Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula; Guatemala (both in the highlands and lowland jungle); and in the north of Honduras and El Salvador. 

The Maya of today still live throughout Mesoamerica.  There are approximately seven and a half million Maya and they can certainly be considered survivors.  Since the arrival/invasion of the Spaniards to the New World in the 16th century, the Mayas have struggled to preserve their culture, language, religion, and heritage. 

Who are the Maya of today?  View some photos of the Maya people.


Maps & Overview  

Click on the links below to view some maps of the Maya world and read a overview of the Mayas.

After reviewing the maps and content from the pages above, answer questions 1-5.  
Much of this information is available on the first link above:  Map 1.

  1. Name five Maya cities and give a description of each one.
  2. What did Mayas believe about their creation and why did they call themselves "Children of the Corn?"
  3. What gods did the Mayas worship?  
  4. What is a cenote and why was water important to the Mayas?
  5. What is thought to have happened in 900? Why? Where did they build a new empire and how long did it last?


Maya Calendar

A brief description the calendar system used by the Mayas

  1. Describe the Maya calendar system.  Name some of the days and months.  What prophecy was predicted for December 2012?  What happened?


Maya or Mayan?   Mayan Languages & Vocabulary

Take a look at some Mayan vocabulary and uses of the languages.

  1. How many different Mayan languages are spoken today?  Name a few. 


Maya Textiles
Maya Woman Weaving

Photo of Colorful Huipiles

The Mayas are known for the variety of textiles used in their clothing.  Visit this site from Arte Maya about textiles

  1. What is the typical dress for women and men?  Use the Spanish vocabulary when possible.  Visit some of these links from the Arte Maya site, Maya Textiles.  Then write a short paragraph about the different types of dress and textiles based on what you learned from these pages.
  2. In conclusion, what is your opinion of the Maya culture?  What was the most interesting part of this lesson to you?  Would you like to visit some of the Maya ruins?  Which ones?  Why? 
    This question is should be answered with thought-provoking answers and comments.  Give examples to backup your opinions.    

Just for fun!  Test your knowledge.  Take a quiz on the Mayas at National Geographic. 

To view my PowerPoint presentation of the Mayas, go to this site.  You will need to allow the Blackboard Collaborate site to download first and allow your computer to accept it. But it's worth the wait.  https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/jwsdetect/playback.jnlp?psid=2010-03-12.1313.M.73B24AC2BB6B21C5A21C117A000DC2.vcr

Links to Maya Culture   

Maya Archaeology Lost King of the Maya
Map of Maya World Maya Adventure
Tour of Tikal Maya Culture
Maya Ruins Interactive Map of Sites
Mundo Maya Online Bibliography of Resources
The Maya, by David Coe Handbook to Life in the Ancient Maya World, by Linda Foster
Maya Vase Data Base, Kerr Collections Map of Maya Area, FAMSI
  Mayan Languages, Wikipedia
Popol Vuh, text translated into English, University of Texas Popol Vuh
Map, Maya World Map, América Central
The Maya Today Weaving and Textiles, Chiapas



  1. Christenson, Allen J.  Popol Vuh:  The Sacred Book of the the Maya:  The Great Classic of Central American Spirituality, Translated from the Original Maya Text.  University of Oklahoma Press, 2007.
  2. Coe, Michael D.  The Maya.  Norton & Co Inc, 2005.
  3. Domenici, David.  The Maya:  History and Treasures of an Ancient Civilization.  White Star Publishers, 2006.
  4. Foster, Lynn V.  Life in the Ancient Maya World.  Oxford University Press, 2002.
  5. Martinez Huchim, Ana Patricia,  Diccionario Maya, español-maya, maya-español.  Merida, Mexico:  Editorial Dante, 2008.
  6. Romero, Paulino.  Maya CalendarMerida, Mexico: Editorial Dante, 2003.
  7. Tedlock, Dennis.  Breath on the mirror: mythic voices & visions of the living Maya.  Harper,1993.