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The Changing Face of Mexico

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

A ritual ball game of the Maya, versions of which are found throughout Mesoamerica. Played with a solid rubber ball, and heavy pads, the object of the game was to knock the ball with any part of the body except the hands through a stone scoring ring. It is thought that some versions may have employed a wooden bat used by the team captain. In certain contexts, the losing team would be sacrificed. The ball game figures prominently in the Maya creation myth, the Popol Vuh.