12 julio, 2024

The 6 Most Popular Yucatan Legends

The Yucatan legends They are a set of myths, stories and worldviews that were created in the Yucatan peninsula during the development of pre-Hispanic cultures; These legends especially encompass the stories of the Mayan culture, along with the beliefs of other small tribes.

When speaking of worldview, reference is made to the way in which a person or a social group interprets the world or the reality that surrounds them. For this reason, it can be established that the legends of Yucatan allow researchers to know how the ancient cultures of this region perceived and interpreted natural and social events.

On the other hand, the legends consist of a series of popular narratives that relate a fictitious or real fact, and that is usually embellished with wonderful or fantastic elements of folklore. In this case, they are adorned with pre-Hispanic traditions.

These stories are usually transmitted orally between generations, so they are subject to continuous changes.

Most Popular Legends of the Yucatan Peninsula

As stated in previous paragraphs, through the legends and myths of a culture, those interested can learn how that particular civilization perceived the world around it.

In addition, knowing the legends also allows scholars to establish how their social, economic and religious structure worked.

Below are some of the most popular legends produced and transmitted in the Yucatan peninsula during the development of pre-Hispanic civilizations.

-The legend of Huay Chivo

The legend of Huay Goat is one of the most popular in Yucatan and tells the story of a sorcerer who had the ability to transform into a terrifying half-goat, half-man beast. This happened after the sorcerer sold his soul to the kisina Mayan expression that refers to the devil or demon.

This story of the Huay Chivo is very similar to another story developed in Central America known as the nahualesaccording to which the transformation of certain people into different animals also occurs after performing an offering ritual.

In the most remote towns, it was believed that if a person came across this entity, they should look away; in this way the receiving person would only feel cold and a bad smell. However, if he exchanged glances with the beast, the subject would feel ailments and fevers.

The story relates that the Huay Chivo fed on chickens and cattle belonging to the settlers; It was also believed that it inhabited the darkest places, such as certain mountains and forests. Today, anecdotes are still told about this terrifying entity.

-The legend of Nicte-Ha

This narration mythically explains the origin of the aquatic plant known as nymph, water sun or water lily. It also seeks to justify the song of the cardinal birds during the mornings in the lakes where these plants grow.

According to Mayan belief, in ancient Nan Chan Kaan lived a prince named Chaktzitzib, whose father had decided to make him marry a princess who lived in distant lands. However, Chaktzitzib had fallen in love with Nicté-Ha, who was the daughter of the guardian of the Sacred Cenote.

At that time no one was aware of this love. Both young people loved each other very much and secretly met in the cenote, where the prince sang love songs to his beloved. On one occasion the young people were discovered by the high priest, who did not want their union; and therefore he decided to eliminate Nicté-Ha.

The prince’s caretaker realized the bad intentions of the high priest, so she decided to warn her lord. Chaktzitzib ordered his caretaker to bring Nicté-Ha to be secretly married; however, the priest realized the plan and murdered the prince’s caretaker.

The prince, realizing that his caretaker was not coming back, decided to go in search of Nicté-Ha, who was waiting for him in the Cenote. Upon meeting, both lovers embraced in a loving embrace.

Following the prince, the high priest approached the young men and shot a poisoned arrow at the maiden, killing her instantly.

Explanation of the water lilies and cardinals

The body of the young woman sank into the water of the Cenote, while the prince cried, begging the gods to take him away with her. The Lord of the Waters took pity on Chaktzitzib, so he turned his deceased beloved into a water lily. On the other hand, the Lord of the Birds decided to turn the prince into a red bird.

After this, every morning the cardinal goes to the ponds to continue singing love songs to Nicté-Ha, turned into an aquatic flower.

-The legend of Sac Nicte

This legend fancifully recounts the events that occurred during the breakup of the Mayapán League, an alliance of Mayan states that developed in the Mesoamerican post-classic period. During this alliance, the Mayan culture was nourished by other civilizations such as the Toltec, which introduced new forms of knowledge.

According to legend, Sac-Nicté was the princess of Mayapán, belonging to the Cocomes people. When she turned fifteen she fell in love with Prince Canek.

For his part, this prince glimpsed the princess when he was 21 years old and was captivated by her beauty, for which he wanted to marry her.

However, Sac-Nicté had been betrothed by her father to Prince Ulil, who was heir to the Uxmals; this union would take place after Canek was crowned. Uxmal’s messengers decided to invite the other rulers of the League, so Canek had to attend the ceremony.

During the preparations for the wedding, Sac-Nité cried with sadness since she did not want to marry Ulil. So far in the ceremony, Canek (who was the new lord of Chichén Itzá) had not appeared, which surprised everyone present.

Kidnapping of the princess and abandonment of the city

At the time of concretizing the wedding vows, Canek appeared with sixty of his soldiers, with whom he invaded the place and kidnapped the princess without any of the high lords being able to prevent it. Canek’s feat was so fast that everyone present was stunned.

After this, Ulil and Hunacc Ceel (father of Sac-Nité) allied themselves to attack Chichén Itzá in order to recover the kidnapped princess and punish Canek. However, upon reaching the city, they realized that it had been abandoned not only by the lovers, but by all the residents.

Consequently, the Cocomes and Ulil’s soldiers looted and destroyed Chichén Itzá, which explains the abandonment of this great city.

-The legend of Xtabay

According to the collected texts, it can be established that Xtabay was an evil spirit in the form of a woman who bewitched men to kill them or lead them to perdition.

two different women

Xtabay’s story begins with two women from the town: Xkeban, a prostitute or woman given to illicit love; and Utz-Colel, a decent and clean lady.

Xkeban was sick with passion, which is why she gave her body to any man who asked for it. Instead, Utz-Colel was virtuous and kind; besides, she had never committed a loving sin.

Despite Xkeban’s slips, this woman had a good heart, since she liked to help the poor and animals; she even made generous donations with the gifts that her lovers gave her.

For his part, Utz-Colel hated animals and the poor; Furthermore, she was hard-hearted and cold. One day the people of the town did not see Xkeban come out anymore, so they began to wonder what had happened to the young woman.

The death of Xkeban

After several days a delicate smell of flowers began to be perceived throughout the town, so a group of people decided to follow the smell; he took them to the corpse of Xkeban.

Utz-Colel assured that that pleasant perfume could not come from Xkeban, since she had been a corrupt and vile woman, so only pestilence could come out of her body. Utz-Colel assured that that perfumed smell must be the work of evil spirits, who tried to deceive and provoke men.

Likewise, Utz-Colel affirmed that, when she died, she would spread a pleasant perfume due to her virtues practiced in life.

After burying Xkeban, his grave began to impregnate a pleasant smell; In addition, the land of it was filled with beautiful flowers. When Utz-Colel died, the entire town attended his burial; however, the smell that his body exhaled was not pleasant, but rather nauseating and intolerable.

From the tomb of Xkeban a beautiful flower called xtabentún, It grows on fences and driveways. Instead, from the tomb of Utz-Colel came a tzacam, which is a cactus flower that has many thorns and does not have any type of perfume.

The end of Utz-Colel

After becoming this flower, Utz-Colel wished the luck of Xkeban, so he decided to indulge in illicit love with evil spirits. What Utz-Coel did not realize is that Xkeban gave herself to men out of natural and generous love, while she did it out of malice and interest.

With the help of evil spirits, Utz-Colel managed to return to the world of the living whenever she wanted, but she did so as a woman in order to deceive men with nefarious love, since the hardness of her heart did not allow her another way. kind of love

This bad woman became the spirit of Xtebay, who returned in her human form to seduce men and then kill them during a hellish act of love.

-The legend of the Alux or the aluxes

For the Mayan imagination, the aluxes are the equivalent to the Germanic elf or goblin, since they consist of a series of creatures that are dedicated to doing all kinds of evil such as stealing children and cattle, along with other terrible mischief.

In terms of their appearance, aluxes were considered to be small, reaching to the knees of an average person. Despite this, their appearance was similar to that of humans, so they looked like miniature people. As for their clothing, these beings wore typical Mayan clothing.

Generally, the aluxes were invisible, although they could assume some physical forms in order to communicate or scare away human beings; they also changed their appearance to blend in with each other.

It is said that these creatures used to appear in forests, jungles, caves and even in some stones. His description is very similar to that of the mythological beings of other cultures, such as the leprachaun Celtic.

At present, the existence of aluxes is still believed in some towns in Mexico and Central America.

-The legend of balam

This name means «jaguar» in the Mayan language. The word is also used to refer to mythological beings similar to geniuses, who had the duty to protect crops and fields. The Mayan culture worshiped them even before knowing the planting, so it is a…

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