Creation Stories – Maya

In the mythology of the Maya, the wise sages Tepeu and Gucumatz (aka Kukulkan, or Quetzelcoatl to the Aztecs) were among the first beings in existence. The Heart of Heaven, Huracan, is a storm god who also exists at the time.

Tepeu and Gucumatz decide that they need to create beings who will worship them. They first created the earth, and then added animals. However, the animals would not worship, and so were banished to the forest. They try again, creating man out of mud, but the figures just dissolved. Other gods join in, and they decide to make man out of wood. The wooden men are soulless, and forget to worship their gods; in anger, the gods also banished them to the forest, where they became monkeys. Finally, the gods shaped maize (corn) dough into the shape of a man. This is ultimately successful. The Maya still believe that maize is more than just food – it is the very substance that they are created from.

In some versions, the men made of wood had no souls, no mines, and no hearts. Old foe they were able to have children and build villages, the gods saw them as tragically flawed. The Feathered Serpent, Quetzelcoatl, sent down a mighty flood to destroy these wooden men.

Quetzalcoatl depicted as a snake devouring a man, from the Codex Telleriano-Remensis. Courtesy Wikipedia.