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Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis$
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John Early

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813040134

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813040134.001.0001

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Long-Standing Strains within Maya Communities

Long-Standing Strains within Maya Communities

Chapter:
(p.62) 5 Long-Standing Strains within Maya Communities
Source:
Maya and Catholic Cultures in Crisis
Author(s):

John D. Early

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813040134.003.0005

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

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