Mesoamerican and South American Mythologies: Maya, Aztec, Inca

The Mayan Gods and Heroes

What was the Maya creation myth?

There are many versions of the Maya creation myth. The creation myth that dominates the Popol Vuh is an unusual story because what stands out is the mistakes of the creators. In the beginning, as in so many creation myths, there was chaos—undifferentiated nothingness in which the deities themselves were undifferentiated. Creation took place when the spiritual power, which was the potential for deities, in fact, became separated into the water-earth gods Tepeu and Gucumatz. These deities created the earth, the plants, and the animals. The gods wanted a being that could recognize them and worship them. They tried to create humans out of mud, but the beings turned back into mud. The first gods were joined by others, including the goddess Chirakan-Ixmucane. The new group tried to make humans out of wood; but these creatures were empty, with no sense of their creators.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Mythology Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App