Thursday, February 12, 2009

Note from Carl Callaway

Hello Maya Enthusiasts and Scholars.

I hope you will find the Maya Mythos blog helpful in researching any and all aspects of Maya Mythology. In recent years, the ancient Maya religion is the source of much investigation and debate and there are many new discoveries and hieroglyphic readings to ponder. I hope to add to this field of inquiry my own discoveries as well as those of my colleagues. I will also endeavor to provide helpful links and sources to those who wish to pursue this topic further.

Carl D. Callaway

3 comments:

Centro Istuni said...

Way to go Mr. Callaway, I am looking forward to seeing it. Congrats!

Carl said...

I love the reproduced image, you have on your site of Monument 10, from Kaminaljuyu. I'm quite familiar with the stela and of Kaminaljuyu because it's an archaeological site my father once excavated (Stephan F. de Borhegyi)

Stela 10, depicts a scene of ritual ballgame sacrifice, in which the ballplayer at the bottom of the scene wearing a ballgame yoke around his waist with three circles, awaits his own sacrifice of underworld decapitation from the two gods depicted above.

Marvin Cohodas (1991:270)... "the Maya appear to have elaborated ballgame images within a broader complex focusing on paired sacrifical deities".

The god on the left with trefoil eyes and an axe in his left hand represents the god associated with underworld decapitation and the planet Venus as the Evening Star. This god is most likely a pre-Classic version of the Maya God associated with lighting and rain named Chac.

The monument likely represents a pre-Classic version of the trinity of gods identified at Palenque as the three hearthstones of creation known as G I, G II, and G III, of the Palenque Triad.

To the right of the god of decapitation is the bearded Quetzalcoatl representing the god of resurrection as the Morning Star aspect of Venus. As God of the Underworld Quetzalcoatl is depicted here with jaguar teeth and a serpent headdress. His looped shaped serpent's eye, represents the symbol of his dualistic religion.

Quetzalcoatl was also associated with the wind and can be seen in Stela 10 with a trail of wind flowing behind him.

The individual depicted below with ballgame belt (note the belt of Orion) may represent G III of the Palenque Triad identified as the underworld sun (Kelley; 1965). G III also represents the resurrected Maize God, known as First Father, Hun Ajaw. In the Popol Vuh, Hun Ahau represents a deified ballplayer, who intern represent, First Father the Maize God, and that the two deities above represent a version of the Hero Twins who in the Popol Vuh resurrect their father from the underworld. Hun Ajaw is decapitated in the underworld at the place of ballgame sacrifice, and thus he is identified with the underworld jaguar.

In the creation mythology of the ancient Maya, the "three stone place" of creation, from the inscriptions at Palenque and Quirigua refers to the constellation of Orion.

The importance of the constellation of Orion can still be seen in Quiche Maya cosmology as a number of temples at their Postclassic capital city of Utatlan points to the stars of Orion.

Stela 10 most likely represents a version of the new suns creation a resurrection ritual that begins with the suns decapitation in the underworld and his divine resurrection into the night sky as a deified ballplayer, the constellation we see today as Orion.

We also find a triad of gods in the Quiche Maya Popol Vuh. Heart of Sky has been identified as Huracan (Juan de Leon; 1945:44-45) Thunderbolt Huracan, who was one of the three aspects of Heart of Sky, who appears in the creation epic with the Plumed Serpent. Thunderbolt Huracan came first, the second is Newborn Thunderbolt, and the third is Raw Thunderbolt. "So there were three of them, as the Heart of Sky, who came to the Sovereign Plumed Serpent, when the Dawn of Life was conceived".

brian skinner said...

Carl, Brian Skinner from San Luis here. I'd love to take a deeper look at your work and will do so. Hope you're well