A summary of Maya religion must underscore the varied nature of the ideas and practices that make it up. This variation can be attributed to three causes: first, there is no overarching institutional structure; second, until recently, the religion has been based exclusively in an oral tradition; and third, the ritual specialist depends on his or her own observations and revelations in the elaboration of ritual and ceremony. In spite of its great variety, some common themes and practices emerge across the many regions where the Maya live and practice their traditions, namely, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras.
In recent decades, Maya religion has become an important facet of the “Maya Movement,” sometimes referred to as the “pan-Maya movement” (Soto and Ricardo 1995; Molesky-Poz 2007). This movement is an attempt by indigenous scholars and activists to bring a greater cultural and...
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