- USC Digital Folklore Archives - http://folklore.usc.edu -

Mayan creation story, Mexico

Posted By attias@usc.edu On May 6, 2018 @ 10:05 pm In Myths | Comments Disabled

This myth was collected from a friend, who was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico and is 21 years old. She told me about the creation myth of the Mayan civilization, which she learned about in school.

 

According to her recollection of the myth, the gods created the earth and the sky first, and then animals and living creatures, as well as birds and other flying animals. The gods wanted to be worshipped, but the animals couldn’t talk, so their first effort failed. Thus, they tried to make humans. They tried to make the body out of mud, but it would crumble. In their next attempt they incorporated wood, and they were successful. They reproduced, but they had nothing in their hearts and minds to worship the gods with. The gods were still unsatisfied, so they made a big flood that destroyed humanity. In their final effort, they mixed corn with water and it worked.

 

My friend is Jewish, and she sees a lot of links of this myth to her own religion’s creation myth, such as the world being created from nothing, and a great flood. She also credits this story for the view of maize, or corn, as sacred in many parts of her country. According to her, it can be found not only within the food but in literature, religious sculptures, art in general, and even in some holidays.

 

I think it’s really interesting how Mexico as a country embraces certain aspect of pre-Christian religion and finds ways to incorporate them into their everyday life. Being Jewish myself, I could also see the clear links between the two stories and the blending of different cultures into one story is very interesting.

 

For a more detailed description of this myth, see https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/big-history-project/what-is-big-history/origin-stories/a/origin-story-mayan


Article printed from USC Digital Folklore Archives: http://folklore.usc.edu

URL to article: http://folklore.usc.edu/?p=40449