Kʼiche people

Popol Vuh – Creation story

In the beginning, when all was stillness, silence, and water. There was no light, no land, no plants, no people, and no animals.

Six deities, covered, in green and blue feathers, lay in the primordial waters: the Framer and the Shaper, Tepew and Quetzal Serpent, along with Xpiyacóc and Xmucané.

These deities, helped Heart of Sky, also known as Hurakán, create the Earth.
Their spirit essence and their miraculous power gave the Earth its creative energy. Now the land had a heart, and they called it Heart of Earth.

To separate the sky from the Earth they planted a tall ceiba tree, making space for all life. The roots penetrated deep into the nine levels of the Maya Underworld, the trunk was on the surface of the land, and the branches reached up to the thirteen levels of the Maya Upper-world.

The plants were next created to live on the Earth.
And then the animals were created. But the animals did not speak and could not worship.

So the deities decided to create human beings from mud. But these first humans had no souls and were not good “keepers of the days.”

They destroyed them in a great flood.

The deities tried another time, and created humans from wood. But the wooden people could not worship either, so they were destroyed.

Those that survived are said to have become the monkeys in the trees.
The sky and Earth now existed, but there was no Sun and no Moon.

A vain bird called Seven Macaw claimed to be the Sun and the Moon. But this was not true. Two amazing Twins, Hunajpu and Xbalanqué, defeated Seven Macaw, by shooting him with darts.

The Hero Twins were conceived, when their mother, Ixkik’, spoke to the decapitated head of their father, Hun Hunahpu, who spit on her hand from a cacao tree. Hun Hunahpu had been killed by the Lords of Xibalbá, the Underworld.

The Hero Twins became great ball players, and to bring their Father back to life, they challenged the Lords of the Underworld to a game in Xibalbá.

The twins were permitted to play the ball game only after they had survived the dangerous trials set for them in the Underworld.

Using great skill and cunning, the twins won the ball game, and this allowed their slain father to come back to life as the Maize God.

The Hero Twins left Xibalbá and climbed back up to the surface of the Earth. They continued up into the sky, becoming the Sun, and the Moon. Now that the Sun and Moon were in the sky and illuminated the Earth, the deities created the final form of human beings using white and yellow corn. Corn is the precious substance that ultimately succeeds in producing true, and enduring, humans.

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