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The plebeians were farmers, artisans, or merchants; they paid taxes and military service, and each had his interest in the common land as well as his individual portion, which descended in the family and could not be alienated.Slaves also existed, the slaves being chiefly prisoners of war and their children, the latter of whom could become freemen by putting a new piece of unoccupied ground under cultivation. david , 01/05: This has good info amanda, 27/04:i like the site but you should get more info on the Mayans Bill, 27/04:need more on food, otherwise ok KB05, 04/02:decent...gov't a bit bigger then others but fine nastassia, 02/02:hey i got a little info. rtaocbhy, 16/01:you need more info on mayan RULERS not GODS!!! in the first paragraph og "mayan government", there is one..the end!
Under the ancient system, the Maya Government was an hereditary absolute monarchy, with a close union of the spiritual and temporal elements, the hereditary high priest, who was also king of the sacred city of Izamal, being consulted by the monarch on all important matters, besides having the care of ritual and ceremonials.
The lower priesthood was not hereditary, but was appointed through the high priest.
There was also a female priesthood, or vestal order, whose head was a princess of royal blood.
The lords alone were military commanders, and each lord and inferior official had for his support the produce of a certain portion of land which was cultivated in common by the people.
They received no salary, and each was responsible for the maintenance of the poor and helpless of his district.
On public occasions the king appeared dressed in flowing white robes, decorated with gold and precious stones, wearing on his head a golden circlet decorated with the beautiful quetzal plumes reserved for royalty, and borne upon a canopied palanquin.
The provincial governors were nobles of the four royal families, and were supreme within their own governments.Their language, which is actually supplanting Spanish to a great extent, is still spoken by about 300,000 persons, of whom two-thirds are pure Maya, the remainder being whites and of mixed blood.The Mayan linguistic stock includes some twenty tribes, speaking closely related dialects, and (excepting the Huastec of northern Vera Cruz and south-east San Luis Potosi, Mexico) occupying contiguous territory in Tabasco, Chiapas, and the Yucatan peninsula, a large part of Guatemala, and smaller portion of Honduras and Salvador.The ancient builders of the ruined cities of Palenque and Copan were of the same stock.There was a distinct class system in ancient Maya times.Here is where the Classic Maya flourished, along the Usumacinta River and throughout the Peten.