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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 important the US. Professor Taube discusses the various resources for Aztec and Maya myths. The Aztec empire all started below two hundred years earlier than the Spanish conquests and information in their mythology derives basically from local colonial files and manuscripts commissioned by way of the Spanish. The Maya mythology is way older and proof survives from local writing and artwork of the vintage interval, over six hundred years prior to 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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But they did not agree, the 9 Gods [Bolon-ti-ku]; and then will be cut the throat of Itzarn Cab Ain, who bears the country on his back. This episode is markedly similar to Aztec mythology, in which Tlaltecuhtli or a great caiman is slain to create the earth, and it is possible that this portion of the Maya flood account may have been a Postclassic central Mexican introduction. A sculpture from the Late PostclassicYucatec site of Mayapan represents a form of the Aztec Tlaltecuhtli in its typical squatting pose.

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.

After many dances, the twins are told to sacrifice a dog and then bring it back to life. This they do, and then they sacrifice a man and also bring him back to life. Xbalanque then decapitates Hunahpu and tears out his heart, only to restore him once again. The principal death gods, Hun Came and Vucub Came, are overjoyed and ecstatic at this miraculous dance and, in the throes of their enthusiasm, they ask to be killed. The twins kill one of them but they leave him dead and lifeless. 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.

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