Pottery incense burner from a shrine at Mayapan depicting the rain god Chac. The Maya god carries a small bowl in one hand and a ball of flaming incense in the other. Ht 54.6 cm (21.5 in).
Click on image for full size
the Peabody Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Xib Chac

Xib Chac was the rain god according to the Mayan pantheon. The rain god was a benevolent deity, and was depicted with different colors. Numerous sacrifices were offered to the rain god. During the religious ceremonies, the priest was assisted by four old men, called Chacs in honor of Xib Chac.

The four assistants would hold the arms and legs of the victim, while the chest was slashed by another individual who bore the title of Nacom. Human sacrifices were performed on prisoners, slaves, and unfortunately, on children.

An important part of the ceremony was related to the prophecies disclosed by another religious functionary, named Chilam. This individual, a sort of visionary shaman, would reveal, while in a state of trance, the messages sent by the gods to be interpreted by the priests.

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more


Rain is precipitation that falls to the Earth in drops of 5mm or greater in diameter according to the US National Weather Service. Virga is rain that evaporates before reaching the ground. Raindrops form...more


Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief deity of the Navajo Indians. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. Each of the four cardinal directions was supported by a giant. Each direction was also associated...more


Amphitrite was one of the fifty Nereids, the attendants of the sea-god Poseidon. Poseidon (Neptune) had fallen in love with Amphitrite after seeing her dancing on the island of Naxos. Amphitrite rejected...more


Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. There were actually two different Aphrodites, one was the daughter of Uranus, the other the daughter of Zeus and...more


In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. Leto travelled all over Greece...more


According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a gigantic crab was placed in the nighttime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera was the jealous wife of the sky god, Zeus....more


In the Northern Hemisphere sky is the constellation Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, and that of his wife Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs,...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA