Ajaw And Aztec Culture

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The term Ajaw (or Ahau) appears in many early Colonial texts where writers used it as a generic synonym when they were referring to rulers and their domains. It was used when referring to the rulers or leaders that were Aztec, Maya, or Spanish without any discrimination of culture.
Another reference for leader used in many of the writings during the Spanish colonization were the words 'tlatoani ' and 'tlahtocayotl. ' These words came from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs. Nevertheless, some of Spanish chroniclers used them interchangeably when referring to the Maya and any other Mesoamerica rulers.
The word Tlatoani (which literally means "speaker") was the Nahuatl term for the ruler of an altepetl, which was an Aztec state before
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Withstanding the constant warfare and occasional shifts in regional power, most kingdoms never disappeared from the political landscape until the collapse of the whole system in the 9th century AD.
Classic Maya societies put an emphasis on the centrality of the royal household, especially towards the ruler of that household. Most kingdoms were built around the ruling house. Spanish sources invariably describe even the largest Maya settlements of Yucatán and Guatemala areas as being dispersed collections of dwellings that were grouped around the temples and palaces of the ruling dynasty or nobles.
Some researchers argue that Maya cities were structured in such a way that were not actually meant be urban centers; but more to meet the needs of the enormous royal households when they conducted their administrative and ritual activities in the royal courts. These courts held the priesthood as well as the nobility, as their court functions often went hand in
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They not only performed their religious duties, but priests also acted as administrators, scholars, astronomers, and mathematicians. The priesthood carried equal, if not more, influence among the Mayas as the nobility. Priests were both feared and respected for their knowledge and position before the gods. Like in all other religions, opportunistic priests were able to extort the superstitions of the people for their own advantage and gain.
The Maya priesthood as provided high status positions for those children of the Maya nobility who could not obtain political office. If one could not achieve power through the throne, they definitely could through the sacrificial altar.
Maya priests were usually the sons of priests or the second sons of nobles and were usually trained through an apprentice system which consisted of a hierarchy of professional priests who served as intermediaries between the kingdom 's population and the deities. This was when an apprentice priest would learn basic skills, such as the art of reading and writing.
The priesthood as a whole were the keepers of knowledge concerning the beliefs and practices. This included their calendars and astrological calculations, divination, prophecies. They also kept the knowledge to interpret spiritual omens that would predict future events. In addition, the Maya priests were experts in historiography and maintained the genealogical

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