Ancient Mayan Jewellery



Like other civilizations, Mayans also wore jewellery. The Mayans were the masters of jewellery making. In the initial years of the Mayan civilization, bone or stone was primarily used to make jewellery as precious metals and gems were scarce. During the latter period of the Mayan settlement, the jewelery was made from gold, silver, bronze, copper and jade. Abundance of gold during their flourishing years enabled the Mayan to make a lot of jewellery from gold.

Ancient Mayan Jewelery

Ancient Mayan Jade Stone

The jewelery made by the Mayans was similar to the style adopted by the Aztecs. Jewelery made from jade was very popular and commonly used by the Mayans. Jade was an extremely hard stone which was usually green in color or ranging from blue-green to even black. The Mayans considered green color to represent life and growth and so it was an important aspect of Mayan jewelery.

Ancient Mayan Jewelery

It took a lot of skill and hard work for the Mayans to carve out designs from jade. After making the jewelery, they would polish the surface of jade with plant fibers. Jewelery made from jade was worn in ears and beads. Mayans also traded jade stone with other civilizations.



Ancient Mayan Importance of Jewellery

The Mayans wore jewelery not only to make them look good, but it was also an indication of the social ranking of a person. Jewelery was a crucial aspect in the lives of the upper class. The rich class wore expensive jewelery than the other classes. The Mayans had different jewelery for different body parts like ear, nose, mouth, legs and neck.

Pendants were a part of the jewelery worn by the Mayans. These pendants were made in different shapes, however, the animal-shaped pendants were common. Spititual, astronomical or ceremonial meaning was attached to jewelery. Importance was given to the type of jewelery to be worn during the above-mentioned occasions.

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