The political and religious systems of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica were complex systems. On the political side there existed local and regional leaders, judges, accountants, families of nobility, and a host of different administrators. On the religious side there were priests of different ranks, priestesses, nuns and monks associated with different religious cults, and many other religious specialists. It is important, however, to remind ourselves that as with most early civilizations, religion and politics were closely related in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. For example, the emperor of the Aztecs, or the Huey Tlatoani, was considered a representative of the gods. Officially, he was the head of the state religion. The Huey Tlatoani and the Tlatoani, or local leaders, also worked with the priests to fulfill specific ceremonial duties on a regular basis.
This set of resources provides background information on the religion and politics of several pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures. Pay close attention to the religious and political distinctions between the various cultures.