Mayská lidská oběť a sebeoběť krve podle Relación de las cosas de Yucatán

Variant title
Maya human sacrifice and auto-sacrifice of blood according to Relación de las cosas de Yucatán
Source document: Religio. 2005, vol. 13, iss. 2, pp. [287]-306
  • ISSN
    1210-3640 (print)
    2336-4475 (online)
License: Not specified license
The article is focused on the human sacrifice and bloodletting, and the differences between these two practices, as they appear in Diego de Landa's Relación de las cosas de Yucatán, an important document from the colonial Yucatán. We can see in his work some references to a problematic status of the human sacrifice. Mainly, it concerns the interpretation of the sacrificing priest, ah nacom, as poorly respected in the society. From other sources we know that the Maya interpreted human sacrifice itself as foreign to their culture and brought in by Kukulcán and his people from central Mexico. On the other hand, the bloodletting is always seen as positive and as a certain privilege or sign of status. It was restricted to the male part of population and the ones who practiced it were highly respected by the community. Thus, there is a gap between bloodletting and human sacrifice: one is seen as desirable and honorific, the other at least as ambivalent.