Compare how the Bantu and Mayan systems provided unity for their regions.

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In the case of both Bantu and Mayan civilizations, any unity they had (or, in the case of Bantu-speaking people, have) was cultural, and primarily linguistic. Even the Bantu language is not particularly unified, since it consists of approximately 500 linguistic subgroups, but it is more cohesive and unifying than any other aspect of Bantu culture. The religious, political, social and economic systems of Bantu societies were and are too diverse for any generalizations to be applicable. Since Bantu cultures have, at some point, occupied much of sub-Saharan Africa, Bantu culture is barely more unified than African cultures in general.

The Maya were more unified than the Bantu, but Mayan civilization was still spread over a very wide area. It is somewhat untrue to think of it as a single culture or civilization. As with the Bantu, the language was the main unifying factor. In the Mayan case particularly, the use of a sophisticated logosyllabic script united certain aspects of the civilization. However, cultural unity for the Maya extended to various other areas, such as art, architecture, and even city planning. This means that archeological remains of Mayan cities share many points in common. The political organization of the Maya, with a semi-divine king at the apex of a complex, ritualized court culture, was also consistent in a way that has never been true of Bantu cultures.

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