Pottery incense burner from a shrine at Mayapan depicting the rain god Chac. The Maya
god carries a small bowl in one hand and a ball of flaming incense in the other. Ht
54.6 cm (21.5 in).
Click on image for full size
the Peabody Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Xib Chac was the rain
god according to the Mayan pantheon.
The rain god was a benevolent deity, and was depicted with
different colors. Numerous sacrifices were offered to the
rain god. During the religious ceremonies, the priest was
assisted by four old men, called Chacs in honor of Xib Chac.
The four assistants would hold the arms and
legs of the victim, while the chest was slashed by another
individual who bore the title of Nacom. Human sacrifices were
performed on prisoners, slaves, and unfortunately, on children.
An important part of the ceremony was related to the prophecies
disclosed by another religious functionary, named Chilam. This
individual, a sort of visionary shaman, would reveal, while in
a state of trance, the messages sent by the gods to be interpreted
by the priests.
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