An Overview of the Ancient Mayan Civilization and Their Legends
The ancient Mayan civilization is one of the most fascinating and mysterious civilizations in world history. It was a highly advanced culture that left behind many impressive structures and artifacts, as well as rich mythology and legends. The Mayan people were also known for their strong spiritual beliefs, which included rituals, ceremonies, and astrological knowledge.
The 20 Most Unknown Ancient Mayan Legends and What They Reveal About this Advanced Culture
The ancient Mayans were a highly advanced civilization that left behind a wealth of mysterious stories and legends. From forgotten tales of their gods to secrets of the underworld, these stories tell us about the beliefs and culture of these ancient people. In this article, we will explore some of the most unknown Mayan legends and what they reveal about this advanced culture.
- Dziú and corn: The legend centers on Dziú, a bird that was recognized for its bravery. By responding to the orders of Yuum Chaac, the God of rain, he risked his life to save a corn seed from a burning field, since this seed was considered essential for life. As a result of having entered the fire, Dziú was left with red eyes and a gray body.
- El Chom: The legend tells the story of the birds called Chom and the punishment imposed on them by the King of Uxmal. The Chom were birds with colored plumage that flew over the king’s palace at the time of the celebration held by him to honor the Lord of Life, Hunab Ku. The Choms ate the food that the king had prepared for the occasion. Uxmal ordered a punishment for them and it was a group of priests took charge of carrying it out.
- The Princess and the Maquech: This legend recounts a love oath between Princess Cuzán and her lover Chalpol, a young man with red hair. Princess Cuzán agrees to marry Prince EK Chapat, following his father’s orders. Her father would kill the princess’s lover, Chalpol but the princess promises to stop seeing him in exchange for them keeping him alive. The princess’s father spares Chalpol’s life but, through a sorcerer, turns him into a marquee, a beetle. Princess Cuzán carries it close to her heart, like the most precious jewel, fulfilling the promise of love that they had made.
- The Flower of May: This legend tells the story of a girl, the daughter of a devotee who could not have children, and how she asks the gods to give her the opportunity to be a father. He observed the beauty of the stars, particularly the Southern Cross, during the time of the month of May. It is at this time that his wife gives birth to their daughter. But she dies in her teens at the same time she was born. Every May, when the Southern Cross illuminates her tomb, the Mayflower appears at the foot of it.
- The Uay Goat: The Uay Goat legend refers to a sorcerer represented as a black entity, with bright eyes and large horns. Its mission is to scare those who appear in its path at night. According to this belief, there are demonized people who have the ability to become a goat to scare the population and/or fulfill some objective of evil origin.
- Xkeban and Utz Cole: This legend is about two women, Xkeban who practiced prostitution but was humble and kind to the poor and genuinely gave herself to love. And Utz Cole who said she was virtuous and honest. When Xkeban died, a beautiful aroma of flower perfume was smelled in the city. After burying her, flowers with this characteristic appeared on her grave. Which they called Xtabentún. A wildflower with intoxicating nectar like the love of Xkeban.
- Che Uinic: This myth is about the man of the woods, a giant who has supernatural powers and eats human flesh, so he is to be feared. He is described as a boneless man with backward feet. That is, their fingers point toward his back. For this reason, he uses a trunk as a cane. To get rid of him in his presence, you have to perform a dance with branches, as this amuses him by making him fall.
- Alux: Alux is called the goblin or elf who steals children. He usually plays most of the time and sometimes does things of diabolical origin. The myth about Alux and other goblins holds that they are invisible but can make themselves visible in order to scare people. They are associated with places such as forests and caves and often travel in search of offerings. It is believed that by invoking them, the peasants will achieve seven years of good harvest and protection for their fields, for what they do inside them, what is called the house of the alux or kahtal alux.
- Uay: Legend has it that the Uay is a magician or sorcerer who performs enchantment phenomena inherent to black magic. It has a ghostly character that adopts different forms of animals to achieve its evil goals.
- Sac Nicté and Canek: Canek was a prince of Chichen Itza. 21 years old, brave, and with a good heart, he falls in love with Sac Nicté, a 15-year-old princess. But she had to marry Ulil, the crown prince of Uxmal. Canek went to look for her with his warriors on her wedding day, ready to fight for her. He snatches her from the arms of the witnesses and war breaks out between his army and Uli. Canek emigrates with the princess and all her people, so when the people of Uxmal go to Chichen Itza to claim her, the city is empty.
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