Balam–quitzé (Smiling Jaguar) The first actual human being created by the gods.
According to the creation myths of the Quiché Maya, the gods made a number of false begins in creating people to worship them. After destroying the earlier variations, manufactured from mud, wooden, and stone, the gods Gucumatz, Tepeu, and Hurakan created 4 brothers out of yellow and white maize (corn) and gave them 4 wives. They have been thought-about the fathers and moms of all the Quiché people, as recorded in the Quiché sacred e-book, the PoPol Vuh.
The gods named the first man Balam-Quitzé, which implies “jaguar with the sweet smile.” He was married to Caha-Paluma, whose title means “Falling Water.” The second brother was Balam- Agag (“Jaguar of the Night”), and he was married to Choimha (“Beautiful Water”). Mahucutan, or “Distinguished Name,” had a spouse known as Tzununiha (“House of the Water”). The gods named the fourth brother Iqui-Balam, or “Moon Jaguar,” and gave him Cakixa (“Water of Parrots”) as his spouse.
Because they have been born with out mother and father, Balam-Quitzé and his brothers didn’t understand how to pray to the gods appropriately or make the correct sacrifices. The gods suggested them to set out for Tulan-Zuiva, or the place of the Seven Caves, to discover 4 minor gods, every designated as a particular information to certainly one of the brothers. In flip, the brothers, their wives, and their kids had to promise to worship their god and obey his instructions. Balam-Quitzé’s particular god was Tohil, the one-legged hearth god who gave the Quiché hearth, requiring human sacrifices in return. The god Avilix was assigned to Balam-Agag, and the god Hacavitz was assigned to Mahucutan. (The title of the fourth god was not recorded.)
Tulan-Zuiva was a chilly, darkish place, untouched by the Sun, the place nothing grew. The brothers have been solely depending on the gods to present hearth, nour- ishment, and shelter. One day, Tohil instructed Balam- Quitzé tales a couple of fantastic place to stay the place the Sun shone, and the place vegetation, animals, and water have been plentiful. Balam-Quitzé’s brothers and their gods determined to resettle their households on this new land.
The journey was lengthy and troublesome, however Tohil proved to be a trustworthy chief, shepherding the households across desert land and steep mountains. When they arrived at the sea, with no method to cross it, Tohil parted the waters so the people might stroll by way of with out drowning. He lastly led the households to a sacred mountain, which the brothers agreed to title after Mahucutan’s god, Hacavitz. The households made camp at the base of the mountain and have been entranced by the sight of their first dawn. But the Sun’s rays additionally triggered the gods to flip to stone pillars. In gratitude for the gods bringing them to such a beautiful place, Balam-Quitzé and his brothers constructed the first Quiché metropolis on the mountain, erecting a temple for every of their gods.
This Quiché fable is comparable to these of many different South American native tribes, which function each a document of the tribe’s founding ancestors and a migration story. In these myths, there are often 4 “first men” who’re referred to as brothers; there may be at all times a gaggle of gods as an alternative of only one; the brothers at all times come from a chilly, darkish place, usually a cavern or cave; they lead their households on a protracted, arduous journey across mountains and seas with the assist of the gods; they usually find yourself in a heat, sunlit spot on or close to a mountain, the place they finally construct their first village or metropolis.
Some students consider that the journey a part of the fable displays the precise historical past of the unique South American people. Archaeologists consider the first indigenous people migrated from Asia over the Bering Strait and southward by way of North America earlier than settling in Central and South America.