The Mayans believed that the universe was made up of two separate worlds. The everyday world and the otherworld. The everyday world was the world in which they lived. The otherworld, they believed, was where gods, spirits, and their dead ancestors lived.
The village chief acted as the leader of political life as well as the priest. He was responsible for standing between his people and the otherworld. He performed important religious ceremonies that the Mayans believed would earn the favor of those in the otherworld and bring about their blessings. These ceremonies included the sacrifice of humans as well as the blood letting of the priest.