Long-Standing Strains within Maya Communities

John D. Early

in Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780813040134
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043838 | DOI:
Long-Standing Strains within Maya Communities

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Traditional Maya communities had internal strains and conflict that enhanced the external pressures that resulted in their inability to provide basic subsistence. Rule by a gerontocracy, abuse of alcohol in both ritual settings and everyday life, the burden of a costly ritual system and depreciation of the role of women further increased the problems of Maya communities. While the Maya remained relatively isolated from the national society and the traditional worldview remained intact, these internal strains were tolerated. But the subsistence crisis precipitated a questioning of many aspects of the culture so that internal strains were no longer taken for granted.

Keywords: gerontocracy; ritual expenditures; alcohol abuse; depreciation of women

Chapter.  3657 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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