List of Maya gods and supernatural beings

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This is a name list of Maya gods and supernatural beings from the Mayan religious beliefs. These are mainly taken from the Books of Chilam Balam, Lacandon ethnography, the Madrid Codex, writings by Diego de Landa, and the Popol Vuh. Depending on the source, the name is either Yucatec or K'iche'. The Classic Period names (belonging to a language related to modern Chol and Chorti) are only rarely known with certainty. Only those names that are familiar from popular books on the Maya, or which play an important role in scholarly discussions of Mayan mythology, have been listed.

Maya mythological beings[edit]

List Source Key: *CHB*–Books of Chilam Balam; *LAC*–Lacandon ethnography; *L*–de Landa; *M*—Madrid Codex; *PV*–the Popol Vuh.
Note: The corresponding deities in the revised Schellhas-Zimmermann-Taube list of codical deities,[1] have been indicated between the square brackets. The letter "J" has no entry.

A[edit]

Acan
The god of wine.
Acat
Yucatec divine patron of those making scarifications and tattoos (Cogolludo); also called Acat *CHB* and Ah Cat.[2]
Ah Muzencab
The gods of bees.
Ah Peku
The god of thunder.
Ah Puch

The god of death

Ah Tabai
The god of the hunt.
Ah Uuc Ticab
A god of the Earth.
Ahau Chamahez
A god of medicine and good health.
Ajbit *PV*
One of the thirteen creator gods who helped construct humanity from maize.
Ajtzak *PV*
One of the thirteen creator gods who helped construct humanity from maize.
Akna
Meaning "Our mother," a very general title applied, amongst others, to goddesses of fertility and childbirth.
Alom *PV*
A sky god and one of the creator deities who participated in the last two attempts at creating humanity.
Awilix *PV*
Patron of the Nija'ib' lineage of the K'iche'.

B[edit]

Bacab *L* [ god N ]
Old god of the interior of the earth and of thunder, sky-carrier, fourfold.
Bahlam
Any of a group of jaguar gods who protected people and communities.
Bitol *PV*
A sky god and one of the creator deities who participated in the last two attempts at creating humanity.
Bolon Ts'akab (Dzacab) *L* [ god K ]
Ah Bolon Dzacab 'Innumerable Generations', the Lightning god, patron of the harvest and the seeds.
Bolontiku *CHB*
A group of nine underworld gods.
Bolon Yokte'
'Nine Strides', mentioned in the Books of Chilam Balam and in Classic inscriptions; functions unknown.
Buluc Chabtan [ god F ]
The god of war, violence, and sacrifice.

C[edit]

A god of mountains and earthquakes. He was a son of Vucub Caquix and Chimalmat.
Cacoch *LAC*
A creator god.
Camazotz *PV*
Bat god, tries to kill the Hero Twins.
Can Tzicnal *L*
Bacab of the north, is assigned the color white, and the Muluc years, son of Itzamna and Ixchel.
Chac *L*
The god of Storms, enemy of Camazotz
Chac Uayab Xoc *L*
A fish god and the patron deity of fishermen.
Chicchan
A group of four Chorti rain gods who live in lakes and make rain clouds from the water in those lakes. Each of the rain gods was associated with a cardinal direction, similar to the Bacabs. Chiccan was also the name of a day in the Tzolkin cycle of the maya calendar.
Cit-Bolon-Tum
A god of medicine and healing.
Chimalmat *PV*
A giant who, by Vucub Caquix, was the mother of Cabrakan and Zipacna.
Cizin
A god of death who lived in Metnal.
Colel Cab
Mistress of the Bees
Colop U Uichkin *RITUAL OF THE BACABS*
An eclipse deity.
Coyopa
The god of thunder and brother of Cakulha.
Cum Hau
A god of death and the underworld.

E[edit]

Ekchuah *M* [ god M ]
Also spelled Ek Chuah, the "black war chief" was the patron god of warriors and merchants, depicted carrying a bag over his shoulder. In art, he was a dark-skinned man with circles around his eyes, a scorpion tail and dangling lower lip.

G[edit]

GI, GII, GIII
the gods I, II, and III, that is, the three patron deities (Triad) of the Palenque kingdom: GI a sea deity with a shell ear, GII a baby lightning god (god K), and GIII the jaguar god of fire, also patron of the number Seven
Gukumatz *PV*
Feathered Snake god and creator. The depiction of the feathered serpent deity is present in other cultures of Mesoamerica. Gukumatz of the K'iche' Maya is closely related to the god Kukulkan of Yucatán and to Quetzalcoatl of the Aztec.

H[edit]

Hachäk'yum *LAC*
Worshipped by the Lacandon people as their patron deity.
Hobnil *L*
Bacab of the east
Hozanek *L*
Bacab of the south; the ek element in the name may refer to a star or constellation.
Hun-Batz *PV*
'One Howler Monkey', one of the two stepbrothers of the Hero Twins, one of the Howler Monkey Gods and patron of the arts.
Hun-Came *PV*
'One-Death', a lord of the underworld (Xibalba) who, along with Vucub-Came 'Seven-Death', killed Hun Hunahpu. They were defeated by the latter's sons, the Hero Twins.
Hun-Chowen *PV*
One of the two stepbrothers of the Hero Twins, one of the Howler Monkey Gods and patron of the arts.
Hun-Hunahpu *PV*
The father of the Maya Hero Twins Ixbalanque and Hun-Apu by a virgin. Beheaded in Xibalba, the underworld, by the rulers of Xibalba, Hun Came and Vucub Caquix. His sons avenged his death.
Hunab Ku
'Sole God', identical with Itzamna as the highest Yucatec god; or a more abstract upper god.
Hun-Ahpu *PV*
One of the Maya Hero Twins.
Hunahpu-Gutch *PV*
One of the thirteen creator gods who helped create humanity.
Hunahpu Utiu *PV*
One of the thirteen creator gods who helped create humanity.
Hun-Ixim
'One-Maize', a reading of the name glyph of the Classic Tonsured Maize God
Hun-nal-ye
A now obsolete reading of the name glyph of the Classic Tonsured Maize God
Huracan *PV*
'One-Leg', one of three lightning gods together called 'Heart of the Sky', and acting as world creators.

I[edit]

Itzamna
The founder of the Maya culture, he taught his people to grow maize and cacao, as well as writing, calendars, and medicine. Once mentioned as the father of the Bacabs. Connected to Kinich Ahau and Hunab Ku.
Itzananohk'u
A patron god of the Lacandon people.
Ixbalanque > Xbalanque
Ixchel *L* [goddess O]
Jaguar goddess of midwifery and medicine.
Ixmucane *PV*
One of the thirteen creator gods who helped create humanity, grandmother of the Hero Twins. See Maya religion.
Ixpiyacoc *PV*
A creator god who helped create humanity. Twelve other gods were also involved in creating humanity. See Maya religion.
Ixtab *L*
The goddess of suicide.
Ixazaluoh
The goddess of water and weaving.

K[edit]

Kauil (Kawil, K'awiil)
Assumed to have been the Classic name of god K (Bolon Dzacab). Title attested for Itzamna, Uaxac Yol, and Amaite Ku; family name; probably not meaning 'food', but 'powerful'.
Kinich Ahau *L*
The solar deity.
Kinich Kakmo
A solar deity represented by a macaw, patron of Izamal (Yucatan).
Kukulkán
'Plumed Serpent', Yucatec name for a Mesoamerican deity and hero, called Q'uq'umatz among the Quiché Mayas and Quetzalcoatl among the Aztecs.

M[edit]

Mam
A title of respect meaning `Grandfather’ and applied to a number of different Maya deities including earth spirits, mountain spirits, and the four Bacabs.
Mam Maximon
A god of travelers, merchants, medicine men/women, mischief and fertility, that was conflated with the Christian figure of Saint Simon and in modern times is part of the celebrations surrounding Holy Week.

N[edit]

Nohochacyum
A creator-destroyer deity, the brother of the death god Kisin (or possibly another earthquake god also known as Kisin). He is the sworn enemy of the world serpent Hapikern and it is said that, in the end of days, he will destroy Hapikern by wrapping him around himself to smother him. In some versions of this story, life on earth is destroyed in the process. He is related, in some stories, to Usukan, Uyitzin, Yantho and Hapikern, all of whom wish human beings ill. Also the brother of Xamaniqinqu, the patron god of travelers and merchants.

O[edit]

Oxlahuntiku *CHB*
'Thirteen Gods', possibly sky gods, opposed to Bolontiku. Mentioned in an eschatological passage.

Q[edit]

Qaholom *PV*
One of the second set of creator gods.
Q'uq'umatz *PV*
Feathered Snake god and creator. The depiction of the feathered serpent deity is present in other cultures of Mesoamerica. Q'uq'umatz of the K'iche' Maya is closely related to the god Kukulkan of Yucatán and to Quetzalcoatl of the Aztecs.

T[edit]

Tepeu *PV*
A sky god and one of the creator deities who participated in all three attempts at creating humanity.
Tohil *PV*
Tohil was a patron deity of the K'iche'. There was a great temple to him at their ancient capital of Q'umarkaj.

V[edit]

Votan
legendary ancestral deity, Chiapas.
Vucub-Caquix *PV*
Bird demon, severs arm of Hero Twin, wife is Chimalmat, sons are the demonic giants Cabrakan and Zipacna.

X[edit]

Xaman Ek
the god of travelers and merchants, who gave offerings to him on the side of roads while traveling.
Xbalanque *PV* [god CH]
War Twin, one of the Hero Twins, companion to Hunahpu
Xmucane and Xpiayoc *PV*
A creator god couple which helped create the first humans. They are also the parents of Hun Hunahpu and Vucub Hunahpu. They were called Grandmother of Day, Grandmother of Light and Bearer twice over, begetter twice over and given the titles midwife and matchmaker.

Y[edit]

Yaluk
One of four Mopan 'Grandfathers' of the earth and chief lightning god.
Yum Kaax
God of the woods, of wild nature, and of the hunt; invoked before carving out a maize field from the wilderness.

Z[edit]

Zac Cimi *L*
Bacab of the west.
Zipacna *PV* Alan
Demonic personification of the earth crust.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Taube 1992
  2. ^ Knowlton 2010: 76-77

References[edit]

  • Knowlton, Timothy W., Maya Creation Myths: Words and Worlds of the Chilam Balam. University Press of Colorado, Boulder 2010.
  • Taube, Karl, The Major Gods of Ancient Yucatán. Dumbarton Oaks, Washington 1992.
  • Mark, Joshua, The Mayan Pantheon: The many gods of the Maya . 2012
  • J.E.S. Thompson, Maya History and Religion. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman 1970.