Folklore Mythology

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By Karl Taube

The myths of the Aztec and Maya derive from a shared Mesoamerican cultural culture. this is often a great deal a residing culture and plenty of of the motifs and gods pointed out in early resources are nonetheless evoked within the lore of up to date Mexico and valuable the USA. Professor Taube discusses different assets for Aztec and Maya myths. The Aztec empire started under 2 hundred years sooner than the Spanish conquests and data in their mythology derives basically from local colonial records and manuscripts commissioned by way of the Spanish. The Maya mythology is way older and facts survives from local writing and paintings of the vintage interval, over six hundred years earlier than the Spanish conquest. Drawing upon those resources, in addition to nineteenth- and 20th-century excavations and study, 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 fable of northern Yucatan and the Aztec construction myths.

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Extra info for Aztec and Maya Myths (The Legendary Past)

Sample text

L. 26 sun 33-4,36,41-5, 47, 50, 62; 3z,35,43; see also Venus see Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli Vucub Came 56,60 Vucub Caquix 17,58-9,64-6; 64-5 Vucub Hunahpu 56,67 Xbalanque 16-17,58-62, 64-7,73; 64-677 Xibalba 56-62,64,66,67,75 XimCnez, Fray F. 67-74 Zapotec 8 Zum6rraga, J.

Could this Long Count event constitute a Classicversion of the flood and the subsequent re-creation of the world? If so, the Classic period setting up of stone stelae at important Long Count intervals could be ritual re-enactments of the erection of world trees at the creation of the present era. Mesoamerican mythology I n the recorded creation accounts of ancient Mesoamerica, the myths rarely stray far from the natural world. There is frequent mention of gods of wind, lightning, water, celestial bodies and other natural phenomena.

The monster bird slain by the hero twins is very common in Protoclassic Maya art, that is, around the beginning of Maya civilisation. The site of Izapa, situated in the southern coastal region of Chiapas, near the Guatemalan border, reveals that even at this early date the monster bird was clearly related to the Popol Vuh character. Dating to approximately the beginning of the Christian era, two Izapan monuments depict an especially early version of the Vucub Caquixepisode. 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.

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