Mayan Money

         The money of the Mayans was food, or the things they traded, but their main money was made up of cacao beans and shells. The rarer types of Mayan money were flint, aluminum, jade, bird feathers, cotton, salt, honey, wax, sea shells, dried fish, smoked deer, and cacao powder.
         Counterfeit money existed during the Mayans time as well  as in our time, but instead of money it was cacao beans.  Tricky merchants would fill empty cans of cacao
beans with sand and mix them with cacao beans.


         1 rabbit  10 cacao beans
         1 pumpkin  4 cacao beans
         1 adult slave 100 cacao beans          
 (enough to make 25 cups of hot chocolate)


Nature Gods

The Mayans worshiped the gods of nature every day. Worshiping gods was a huge part of their daily life.  Some of the nature gods (or the main ones) were the God of Rain, Lady Rainbow,The god of Chocolate, The God of Maize (corn) and of course, Tye god of the sun.  The Mayans believed that without the help of these important Nature gods,there would be no rain, no rainbows, no sun,and crops.  These were all vital to Mayan daily life and they believed that without these gods they would all starve to death.



The Hero Twins

 Before the creation of humans therre was a braggy bird god called Vucub Caquix    who pretended he was the sun and light. Offended by the bird gods arrogance, the Hero twins created a war against the impostor to destroy him.They knew that Vucub Caquix liked to eat the fruit of a particular tree,so they waited there for him to come for his afternoon snack.When he appeared for his meal the twins fired arrows wounding the impostor.But the bird god
did not give up so easily.He fought and fought eith the heaveanly twinsuntil finally he got what he wanted he made off with one of the Hero twins arms.    They fought many clever battles but eventually the hero twins by crashing the enemies house after a false victory.


One noble family controlled each city.  When the ruling noble died, the job would be passed on to his son.  If you were not born with noble blood, you had no chance of becoming a noble.  The noble families started with the Hero Twins.  Each noble family was supposedly an ancestor of the Hero Twins.  That gave them the idea that they should impress the Hero Twins, so they worked harder to keep their jobs.  The nobles were believed to be directly related to the gods.

Cacao Beans

Cacao beans were the source of chocolate as well as money and an expensive chocolate drink that was only used at formal ceremonies the local Mayans grew cacao beans in their own backyards.The cacao trees only grew in a few areas,therefore cocoa beans were very valuable due to drought.There chocolate was money and it did grow on trees.


The Mayans traded pottery,baskets, textiles,dyes and agricultural products they were sold locally in open plazas on specially  scheduled market days.Other things that the Mayans traded were things that they traded and then resold.Salt was also a popular trade because some people had a diet that was low on meat.Salt beds were common on the Yucatan coast.Shells were traded, carved and then resold.  

Important Positions In Society

The  ruling noble did not rule alone.Part of his job was to choose council seniors and warriors to assist him.Other people were selected to help rule the government.Some people were chosen to create the laws others were chosen to be constructors.The Mayans ruled themselves through  a system of cities.  

Resources:The Mayas by, Dolores Gassos,Marcel Socias Studio,Patrick Clark ,Your Guide to the Mayan Civilization by Nancy Day,The Maya by Arlette  N. Braman,the Ancient Maya by Lila Peril.