Mayans believed that four jaguars, called bacabs, held up the sky. Each had a different color.
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Courtesy of Nova Development Corp.
was conceived by the Maya as flat with four
corners. Each corner represented a cardinal point, and was
signaled by a different color: red for east, white for
north, black for west, yellow for south, and green at the
At each corner, there was a jaguar of a different
color that supported the sky. The four jaguars were called
bacabs. Mayans believed the Universe was divided into layers,
each layer containing only one sort of celestial body.
Heaven was formed with thirteen layers, and each of them seemed to
have had its own god.
The underworld was formed with
nine layers with nine corresponding lords of the night.
Mayans believed that the Sun and the Moon passed through the
Earth when they disappeared below the horizon. On his night
journey beneath the earth, the Sun was believed to have become
the fearsome jaguar god of the underworld, Kinich Ahau.
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