Mayan Political Hierarchy

The ancient Maya or Mayan civilization lived in individual political states which were combined together through tribute obligations, political alliances and trade.  While some of the states during those times were independent, others operated on the basis of political hierarchy.

The Maya governance had several powerful leaders who performed the task of maintaining harmony and order.  There was a proper hierarchical structure followed throughout the kingdom. If you wish to understand the political hierarchy of the Mayan people, you can go through the following given information.

Mayan political hierarchy

Halach Uinic

The Halach Uinic was the supreme leader of the Mayan people and the separate states.  The Halach Uinic only ruled nine of the states but other states and towns were led by the council of nobles of the elite lineage.  The power and authority of the Halach Uinic was sometimes limited by the council, foreign advisors and the special military. But even inspite of this he was considered as the highest authority. The leaders or rulers were succeeded by their sons or other suitable candidates who were chosen by the council or the priests.


The Nacom was the supreme military commander of each of the states of Maya.  The person who was placed on the position of the Nacom served a period of 3 years and he was responsible for making the military strategy and also asking the troops to go to war.

High Priest

At the third position in the hierarchy of Mayan politics was the high priest. The high priest led a hierarchy of priests. He was also responsible for foretelling auspicious events for the ruler and finding the dates of ceremonies and festival.


The Batabs were appointed by the Halach Uinic and were the ones who oversaw the dependent cities as well as the villages that came within the state.  They held military, judicial and administrative authority over the towns and ensured that the tribute was paid to the supreme leader or ruler.  They also supplied troops at the time of war. They also were the heads of the local councils that were comprised of the members who were known as cuch cabob.

Cuch Cabobs

These were the councillors who headed different subdivisions in the towns.

Al Kuleboob

These were the assistants to the Batabs who helped in carrying out many kinds of government duties.


These were constables who worked under the Batabs and were responsible for maintaining peace.

Also, know about Ancient Mayan Social Hierarchy.