This paper examines Mayan beauty contests in Guatemala in order to understand changing meanings of Mayan identity and changing roles of Mayan women in their communities. In the contests, the participants represent Mayan identity in an idealized form, but this idealization has changed in different historical periods and for different political purposes. The ritual features of the event are used as symbolic resources according to their multiple meanings and functions. The participants in the recent Mayan beauty contests are expressing socio-economic and political concerns that are directly related to the affairs of the local community to which they belong. This means that certain changes are underway in terms of the roles assumed by Mayan women and in terms of their activities in the current Guatemalan society. However, whether this can definitely lead to Mayan women’s active participation in Guatemalan politics needs to be further explored.