Maya Death Gods  

Posted by Stella Clark

Maya Death Gods Cover
The Maya Death Gods, known under various names, belong to only two basic types, respectively represented by the 16th-century Yucatec deities Hunhau and Uacmitun Ahau mentioned by Landa. Hunhau is the lord of the Underworld. Iconographically, Hunhau and Uacmitun Ahau correspond to the Gods A and A'. In recent narratives, particularly in the oral tradition of the Lacandons, there is only one death god (called Kisin in Lacandon), who acts as the antipode of the Upper God in the creation of the world and of the human body and soul. This death god inhabits an Underworld that is also the world of the dead. As a ruler over the world of the dead, the principal death god corresponds to the Aztec deity Mictlantecuhtli. The Popol Vuh has two leading death gods, but these two are really one: Both are called 'Death', with only the prefixes ('One' and 'Seven') being different. They were vanquished by the Hero Twins. The two principal death gods count among the many were-animals and spooks inhabiting the Underworld, with the God A way in particular manifesting himself as a head hunter and a deer hunter.

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This entry was posted on 22 February 2010 at Monday, February 22, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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