Ancient Mayan Children

While delving into the studies of Mayan Civilization, one very important facet are the Mayan children and their role in ancient Mayan society. In general, it can be seen that the children were treated as adults and given responsibilities a lot earlier than children are today.

Role of Children In Society

The main role of the children in ancient Mayan society was to help their adults. This role in their lives began as soon as they turned 5 or 6. They would then be treated as young adults. The older they grew, more responsibilities they would be given.

Till the age of 5 or 6 it was basically the mother's duties to take care of the children while the fathers tended to their own duties such as farming. However, once they reached this age, the boys would be under their fathers care so that he may be trained in the ways of men while the mother would be in charge of the girl children. Usually, girls would be trained in household duties and boys in farming.

Ancient Mayan Strange Practices

Studies show that Mayans desired certain physical characteristics in their children which were rather absurd as were the methods used to achieve them.

Ancient Mayan Children

Crossed Eyes:The Mayans considered crossed eyes to be a very attractive feature. Hence, to achieve this they would dangle objects in front of the baby's eyes till they were permanently crossed.

Flattened forehead's: They also considered flat foreheads to be a sign of beauty and would use boards to flatten babies' foreheads.

Ancient Mayan Names, Values Stressed and Punishment

Ancient Mayan Children

Values Stressed

The children were usually named after the date they were born on. There were different names for every day in the year. They stressed on the following values

  • Strong work ethic
  • Respect for elders
  • Betterment of community
  • Sense of responsibility


Evidence found suggests that Mayans believed in verbal punishments, preferring to reprimand or threaten rather than use actual physical force to punish their children.

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