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Huracan

Huracán[1] (Spanish: Huracán; Mayan: Hunraqan, "one legged"), often referred to as U K'ux Kaj, the "Heart of Sky",[2] is a K'iche' Maya god of wind, storm, fire and one of the creator deities who participated in all three attempts at creating humanity.[3] He also caused the Great Flood after the second generation of humans angered the gods. He supposedly lived in the windy mists above the floodwaters and repeatedly invoked "earth" until land came up from the seas.

His name, understood as 'One-Leg', suggests god K of Postclassic and Classic Maya iconography, a deity of lightning with one human leg,[4] and one leg shaped like a serpent. God K is commonly referred to as Bolon Tzacab and K'awiil or Kauil. The name may ultimately derive from huracan, a Carib word,[5] and the source of the words hurricane and orcan (European windstorm). Huracán also helped destroy the manikins, the results of their second try. Huracán sent dogs and turkeys into the manikin's homes proclaiming revenge for the dogs and turkeys slain and eaten. Also, frying pans, mortars, pestles, and even stones came alive. The frying pans complained about their mouths being filled with ash and declared that they will be treated as them. The mortars complained about being banged with a pestle every day and that they will be beaten by pestles as their punishment. The pestles complained about their mouths being filled with grain each and every day. Finally, the stones shot out of the fire place crushing the helpless manikins. Some sought refuge in trees but fell off after the branches shook them down. Some sought refuge in caves, but huge boulders closed the entrance entombing them forever. The survivors ran into the forest and were chased by Huracán and the dogs and turkeys. They ran day and night until they could not go on. Huracán was pleased that there was no more manikins and so he walked until he found a field full of corn. He and Gúcumatz,the plumed serpent, handed the corn to Xmucane, who mixed corn with water to make dough. Out of this dough they made four men, Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now and Dark Jaguar. Humans used to be able to do anything, fly, see oceans from far away, and inside rocks. Huracán clouded their vision so that they couldn't see so far. Huracán also sent Hunahpu and Xbalanque on their missions and presided over the decapitation of Zipacna the earth monster.

Related deities are Tohil, Bolon Tzacab, Cocijo in Zapotec mythology, and Tlaloc in Aztec mythology.

Huracan is referred to in Grace Nichols' poem Hurricane Hits England where she makes references to the Caribbean gods.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Also Hurakan, Harakan "Jurakan" and "Huracan"
  2. ^ Christenson 2003, 2007, p.59.n.56.
  3. ^ Read & González 2000, p.200. Miller & Taube 1993, 2003, p.134.
  4. ^ Freidel et al. 1993, pp.199-200.
  5. ^ Read & González 2000, p.200.

References


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