Gukumatz


Gukumatz

Gukumatz (Alternatively Gucumatz Gugumatz or Kucumatz. Translates as "sovereign plumed serpent") was represented as feathered serpent god of the Popol Vuh who created humanity along with the aid of the god, Huracan. Gukumatz is also considered the K'iche'-Maya equivalent of the Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl, and more directly related to Kukulkan of the Yucatec-Maya tradition.

The Popol Vuh

In the beginning of the Popol Vuh, Gukumatz is depicted as a large serpent with beautiful blue-green feathers, afloat in the primordial sea. Nothing yet exists, only pools of water kept at rest under the sky. Soon, the god Huracan appeared before the Sovereign Plumed Serpent to discuss the creation of man. It is decided between the two that the water should be removed and replaced by land. They both spoke the word "Earth" until from the mist of the waters the mountains rose. Gukumatz was pleased with their collaborative creation of the earth. The gods created animals such as the deer and the bird, and commanded that their creations should give them praise by speaking their names and keeping their days. But the animals could not speak the words of their gods and simply squawked and chattered. Gukumatz soon realized that their first attempt at the creation of beings was a failure as they could not give them praise. They animals were ordered to live in the wild and to let their flesh be eaten by the ones who will keep the days of the gods and show them praise.

They first formed men of mud, but in this form man could neither move nor speak and quickly dissolved into nothingness. Later, they created men of sculpted wood, which Huracan destroyed as the wooden manikins were imperfect, emotionless and showed no praise to the gods. The survivors were then transformed into monkeys, and sentenced to live in the wild. The gods were finally successful in their creation by constructing men out of maize. Here the first men were formed: B'alam Agab, B'alam Quitzé, Iqi B'alam, Mahucatah. Their sight was far and they understood all. Gukumatz and Huracan became fearful that these new beings will become as powerful as the gods and limited the sight of the first men.

ee also

*Feathered Serpent (deity)
*Quetzalcoatl

References

*cite book|author= Preuss, Mary H.|title=Gods of the Popol Vuh: Xmucane, Kucumatz, Tojil, and Jurakan|publisher=Labyrinthos|location=Culver City, California|date=1988|isbn=0911437258
*cite book|author=Tedlock, Dennis (trans.)|title=Popol Vuh: The Definitive Edition of the Maya Book of the Dawn of Life and the Glories of Gods and Kings|publisher=Simon and Schuster|location=New York|date=1985|isbn=067145241X


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