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A Mayan woman in a sweat lodge. Source: Peopleimages - AI / Adobe Stock.

Shocking Weird Things That Were Normal for Mayans! (Video)

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The Mayan civilization, known for its enigmatic rituals, had customs that may baffle us today. Their saunas, rather than places of relaxation, were considered gateways to the afterlife. Blood sacrifices were a recurring practice, even involving high-class individuals when prisoners were scarce. The color blue held deep significance and was reserved for religious ceremonies, not interior decoration. Cross-eyed individuals were admired because they resembled the cross-eyed sun god Kinich Ahau. To achieve this, noble families would dangle objects in front of newborns' eyes until they became permanently cross-eyed. Altering the shape of baby skulls was another beauty standard. Mayan elites would reshape their infants' heads by pressing them against wooden planks.

They also adorned their teeth with jewels as a display of wealth. Their fascination with teeth didn’t stop there. Sharp teeth were considered a symbol of beauty and a practical weapon. Mayans filed their teeth to achieve this aesthetic, even using them in battle. Mayans had their own form of intoxication, involving alcohol and psychedelics administered rectally, a risky practice compared to conventional consumption. These practices, though unusual to our modern sensibilities, were entirely normal for the Mayans and reflect the rich diversity of human cultures and their beliefs.

Top image: A Mayan woman in a sweat lodge. Source: Peopleimages - AI / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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