Mexico and Central American Religion
The main presence of religions in Mexico and Central America was Christianity and the Maya and Nahua (otherwise known as the Aztec) religions. Fernando Cortes introduced Christianity to the Mesoamericans when he overtook Tenochtitlan in the 16th century. These two religions were similar in some aspects. They were extremely barbaric in the way they worship and they also worshipped the same God. They held very elaborate ceremonies to celebrate their gods. There were many sacrifices that were done during celebrations, but were often time’s animals and not humans as most thought.
The cosmos consisted of four main planes that were represented by various gods. The Nahua of San Martin called the underworld (in the west) Tlalocan. The underworld consisted of many watery chambers. In Christianity, the underworld is a hot, fiery domain and not wet and cool. The Earth’s surface (ran from North to South) is called a comal, which is a flat pan that the Mexicans used to roast tortillas. The sun would produce corn with its heat and the sun beneath the comal is the fire that cooks tortillas that were made from the corn. The Cakchiquel Maya said that the watery sea spreads out to the horizon until it joins with the sky. The Nahua would build temples according to these cosmic planes. The Templo Mayor, Great Temple was built so that it hid the underworld. In the underworld, there were buried sacrificial bodies of animals.
Sacrifice was done when dedicating new temples, harvests, to satisfy the Earth Monster and others in the underworld, festivals, and other times of celebration. The Maya and Nahua believed the tongue to be a sacrificial blade. It thirsted for blood and flesh. Most people were under the impression that sacrifice was almost always carried out on humans. Little did they know, the sacrifice was often on animals (quails, jaguars, crocodiles, ducks, fish, snakes, salamanders) and even cakes that were shaped as...