Aztec and Maya Myths (The Legendary Past) by Karl Taube

By Karl Taube

The myths of the Aztec and Maya derive from a shared Mesoamerican cultural culture. this can be a great deal a residing culture and plenty of of the motifs and gods pointed out in early assets are nonetheless evoked within the lore of up to date Mexico and valuable the US. Professor Taube discusses different assets for Aztec and Maya myths. The Aztec empire all started below two hundred years sooner than the Spanish conquests and data in their mythology derives basically from local colonial records and manuscripts commissioned via the Spanish. The Maya mythology is way older and proof survives from local writing and paintings of the vintage interval, over six hundred years sooner than the Spanish conquest. Drawing upon those assets, in addition to nineteenth- and 20th-century excavations and learn, together with the translation of the codices and decipherment of Maya hieroglyphic writing, the writer discusses, among others, the "Popol Vuh" myths of the Maya, the flood fantasy of northern Yucatan and the Aztec production myths.

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OnIzapa Stela 2, the great bird descends to his fruit-laden tree; running towards the tree is a pair of human figures, probably the earliest known New World version of the hero twins. The monster bird appears again at the base of the fruit tree, in this case with a fleshless lower jaw and with his wing awkwardly bent under his body. The entire scene graphically represents the defeat of Vucub Caquix as he is struck down from his fruit tree by the hero AZTEC AND MAYA MYTHS A possible representation of Hunahpu with his arm severed.

As soon as they had killed the one lord without bringing him back to life, the other lord had been meek and tearful before the dancers. ' he said when he realised. All their vassals took the road to the great canyon, in one single mass they filled up the deep abyss. Thus, through trickery and cunning, the twins completely vanquish the evil kingdom of Xibalba. Appearing before its defeated inhabitants, they reveal their true identities and threaten to slay everyone. The Xibalbans beg for mercy and tell them where their father and uncle are buried.

74 of the Codex Dresden. Detailfrom Late Classic Maya vase. The new year erection of the world tree of the west. Codex Dresden, p. 27. AZTEC AND MAYA MYTHS Maya of Yucatan were aware of Aztec mythology and even iconographic conventions. However, the Classic Maya may well have also conceived of a great earth caiman associated with the flood. One surviving Late Classic Maya vessel depicts a caiman with death and water markings suspended from the sky, recalling the reptilian skyband on page seventy-four of the Codex Dresden.

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