These are some of the words used in stories and other works about the Maya that you might come across.
baktun — A period in the Maya long Count of 144, 000 days or approximately 394.5 years.
cacao — Ka Ka Wa – the plant from which chocolate is made. The Maya didn’t eat it with sugar so it tasted very bitter.
Calendar Round — A complex calculation of a day’s place in the interlocking Maya calendars
cenote — underground well where water accumulates in the geological areas of karst. Often found in the the Maya region of Mexico
censor –A delicately carved ceremonial apparatus for burning incense.
ceremonial center — Maya cities where temples, the king’s palace and burial sites are found
codex –modern name given to the few remaining Maya bark-paper books.
comal –A flat clay or metal plate for cooking
danta — a large boar like animal found in the forests of Guatemala, and Mexico
ex — (loincloth) Cloth worn by Maya priests and kings. Usually of cotton.
Hieroglyphics — A form of writing in which pictures and symbols form syllables in a spoken language
huipil — Maya blouse worn by women, usually delicately embroidered with multicolored traditional symbols
Itzamná — Maya creation god
karst — a type of porous stone that is found in many areas of Mexico
katun — a period of 7,200 days in the Maya Long Count
kin — one day
limestone — a kind of porous rock that is found in many areas of Mexico.
lineage — the tracing of a line of ancestral decent, important especially among royal families
loin cloth — see ex – Cloth worn by Maya priests and kings. Usually of cotton.
Long Count — A count of starting with the first day of creation according to the Maya, August 11, 3114
maize — the Maya word for corn
mano — (Spanish for hand); also the lon cylindrical stone used by Maya women and girls to grind prepared corn kernels into dough.
metate — used with the manao; the stone tablet used by Maya women and girls to grind prepared corn kernels into dough
myth — stories in which cultural religious or foundational beliefs are recounted.
rainforest — a type of forest found in tropical areas of the world characterized by high levels of rainfall
scribe — a person trained to read and write with glyphs; see hieroglyphics.
stucco — A type of whitewash or plaster used throughout the Maya region to coat the walls of buildings, both interior and exterior.
tapir — a large boar like creature found in the Maya region. See danta
tribute — a gift given to the ruler
tun –a period of 360 days in the Maya Long Count
unial — a period of 20 days in the Maya Long Count, similar to a month in our calendar
vague year — the five-day period at the end of a tun, much like a Leap Day, but occurring every year