Other Religions Atheism and Agnosticism Buluc Chabtan: Mayan God of War Share Flipboard Email Print Dorling Kindersley Getty Images Other Religions Belief Systems Atheism and Agnosticism Logic Ethics Key Figures in Atheism Evolution Atheism Myths and Misconceptions By Austin Cline Atheism Expert M.A., Princeton University B.A., University of Pennsylvania Austin Cline, a former regional director for the Council for Secular Humanism, writes and lectures extensively about atheism and agnosticism. our editorial process Austin Cline Updated July 22, 2017 While much of the Mayan religion has been lost to antiquity, archeologists have uncovered many things about this fascinating religion. Following the traditions of many Mesoamerican tribes, the Mayan were polytheistic. They believed in a rotating cycle of creation and destruction. These cycles matched up with the many calendars the Mayans used. They had one with 365 days, based on the earth's solar year, one based on the seasons, a lunar calendar and even one based on the Planet Venus. While some indigenous communities in Central America still practice Mayan rituals the culture collapsed sometime around 1060 AD. What reminded of that once vast empire would be colonized by the Spaniards. As with many polytheistic religions, some gods were loved and others feared. Buluc Chabtan was the latter. Buluc Chabtan was the Mayan god war, violence, and sudden death (not to be confused with regular death which had its own deity). People prayed to him for success in war, to avoid sudden death, and just on general principles because you don't want to be on his bad side. Blood was seen as nourishment for the gods and a human life was the ultimate gift to a deity. Unlike the majority of movies which portray supple young virgins as being the best for human sacrifice, prisoners of war were much more commonly used for this purpose. It's thought that the Maya decapitated their human sacrifices until the postclassic period when heart removal was favored. Religion and Culture of Buluc Chabtan Maya, Mesoamerica Symbols, Iconography, and Art of Buluc Chabtan In Mayan art, Buluc Chabtan is usually portrayed with a thick black line around his eyes and down one cheek. It's also common for him to be in images where he's setting fire to buildings and stabbing people. Sometimes, he is shown stabbing people with a spit which he uses to roast them over a fire. He's often pictured with Ah Puch the Mayan god of Death. Buluc Chabtan is God of WarViolenceHuman sacrificesSudden and/or violent death Equivalents in Other Cultures Huitzilopochtli, god of war in Aztec religion and mythologyAres, god of war in Greek religion and mythologyMars, god of war in Roman religion and mythology Story and Origin of Buluc Chabtan It was common for people to make human sacrifices to various gods in Mesoamerican cultures; Buluc Chabtan is a bit unusual, however, in that he was actually a god of human sacrifices. Unfortunately, the majority of stories about him have been lost to the ages along with most information about the Mayans. What little information that remains comes from archeological studies and the writings of Temples and Rituals Associated with Buluc Chabtan Buluc Chabtan was one of the "bad" gods in Mayan culture. He wasn't so much worshiped as he was avoided.