The Mayan empire consisted of several different kingdoms with a common cultural background. The Mayans were the most important native peoples of North America by their resources and sheer size. The area is divided into three sections, northern, southern, and central by means of cultural differences. Their language leans heavily toward Spanish and is still spoken by few today. The Mayans had a multitude of social classes, the highest of which were the rulers and the lowest being the farmers/laborers. Also held highly in the classes were those who were most educated including scribes, artists, and architects. There are no known classes of priest or religious value so it is most likely the religious duties were performed by the ruler. The Mayan government most resembles a monarchy, with the several kingdoms being for the most part ruled individually. Crimes were punished by death, fines, or even imprisonment. Children were considered as belonging to the parent until they were wed. The common marrying age for boys was about 20.