Before modern Europeans arrived to the new world - excluding the Vikings, that is - advanced cultures evolved there: the Incas, the Mayas and the Aztecs were not really behind any other advanced nation in the world. A combination of factors and odds conspired against them as conquerors from across the ocean arrived, but they were true warriors that with perhaps some more luck could have tossed the Europeans back to the sea.
The Mayas were particularly hardcore, blood-thirsty warmongers; they just loved to fight and their whole culture, their social activities and so on reflected that. Even the games, the ways to gamble and bet money, the punishments and tournaments reflected that. And one game that became immensely popular among meso-american people was known as Tlachli
; it was a game for really hardened sportsters, very difficult, very competitive and also deadly quite often.
The game was also related to religion, heavy sports betting and politics; it significance was such as that of the various high-profile sports of today like english football (what the people in the U.S. incorrectly call soccer) in the sense that even the prestige of cities and rulers was at stake while tlachli players were busy trying to score and dying.
Not all aspects of the game are known and it would be impossible to describe it and its various implications in just one post such as this one, so I invite you to visit the following links that contain more info about this sport:
- Tlachli at our forum
- Reviews, articles and comments related to the tlachli game